6 The need for higher levels of
abstraction has recently led to the notion of adding action to knowledge,
resulting in services. Therefore, the
abstract definition of a service comes
to fulfill the need to act and deliver on
knowledge, that is, to provide a way for
knowledge to be useful. Accordingly,
services are de facto presently considered as the highest level in the computing value chainb (see Figure 1).
Services are ubiquitous in today’s
social and economic environment.
Examples of such services include
healthcare, financial management, human resources, and tourism planning.
What distinguishes services from other
computing paradigms is their ability
to work in a competitive environment
where the key parameter to distinguish
between similar services is their quality. Knowledge in itself is not sufficient,
but needs to be acted upon to bring
about benefits. In the case of services,
it is the ability to use quality of service
(QoS) as a key discriminant to choose
between services that provide the “
action” on knowledge about services.
7, 19, 24
As economies undergo significant
structural changes, digital strategies
and innovation must provide industries with tools to create a competitive
edge and build more value into their
4 Advances in online service
technologies are transforming the Internet into a global workplace, a social forum, a means to manage one’s
individual affairs and promote collaboration, and a business platform
for service delivery. Additionally, organizations are competitively compelled
to provide service interfaces to their
online services, allowing third-party
developers to write auxiliary or satellite
“apps” that add new uses to the original service, enrich its features and accessibility, and enhance its agility.
Web service technologies have been
developed somewhat independently
from the notion of service. They have
been at the center of intense research
in the past 15 years. In the enterprise
market, sales of ready-made software
or hardware products are rapidly being replaced by the provisioning of
b Framing the service paradigm as the top level
in the computing value chain does not in any
way lessen the importance of issues pertaining
to each level in the chain.
follows, we provide a historical perspective on the evolution of computing. In the early days of computing, the
challenge was to represent information in a machine-readable format that
consisted of bits and bytes, called data.
Over time, there was keen interest in
complementing data with meaning,
thus transforming it to information.
With further advances in computing
came the idea of adding reasoning to
information, thus giving rise to knowl-
Representative service computing venues.
Venue Main Topics in the Last Three Years (in alphabetical order)
IEEE TSC Business Process Management for Data Services
Cloud Service Management
Cloud Based Social Computing
QoS-Aware Service Composition/Selection/Recommendation for Web/Cloud Services
IJWSR Service Composition/Selection/Recommendation
ICSOC Business Processes for Services
ICWS QoS-Aware Service Selection/Composition/Recommendation
Services for Social Networks
SCC Business Processes for Services
Figure 1. Abstractions along the computing value chain.
archChallengesCutAcrossAbstractionLayers Service (Actions) Socializing and Interacting
Representing and Reasoning
Modeling and Processing
Sensing and Storing