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Overview

At a Glance

Project title (full):

Exploiting Social Networks for Building the Future Internet of Services

Project coordinator:

Prof. Dora Varvarigou Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (www.iccs.gr)

Partners:

Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (Greece)
IBM Haifa Research Lab (Israel)
Athens Technology Center (Greece)
Google Ireland Limited (Ireland)
Cognium Systems (France)
University of Haifa (Israel)
Deutsche Welle (Germany)
Stefi Productions S.A. (Greece)
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)

Duration:

September 2010 – February 2013

Total cost:

€4.086M (€2.754M funded) Programme: ICT-2009.1.2: Internet of Services, Software and Virtualisation

Further information:

www.sociosproject.eu

SocIoS will pave the way for building qualitative, functional and usable business applications exploiting the User Created Content and the Social Graph of users in Social Networks. By providing tools for cross-platform application development and deployment; support for SLAs and QoS; tools for UCC and social graph management; and most importantly, a usable framework to build services in and through Social Networks, SocIoS will provide incentives for the development of business applications.

Concept

Social Networks (SN) are the ideal future service marketplaces. SN users are increasing at a tremendous pace with Web 2.0 and SN Sites (SNS) having attracted more than 500 million regular users within just 5 years of existence. The number of the potential customers is huge, coming from almost every societal class, cultural background, and age. The requirements are: a computer, a browser, network access, and the natural need for socializing. Taking advantage of the social dynamics as well as the vast volumes of amateur content generated every second in a SN is a major step towards creating a potentially huge market of services. Providing developers with cross-platform tools that enable them to manage the dynamically generated content and complex social interactions by allowing them to build, deploy and potentially sell services that combine data and functionality from two or more different SN services disregarding the underlying SN implementation, will create an agile and profitable market of services and will bring the Internet of Services concept a step closer to realization.

Objective

SocIoS views the democratization of the service lifecycle management as a major step towards the Future Internet of Services. The focal point of the SocIoS concept is the provision of the necessary tools to common Internet users that allow them to compose, provide and consume application services over abstract resources on the Web.

Social Networks appear to be the perfect “sandbox” for realising this vision. Internet users inhabit these environments in masses, and the Social Networks themselves, apart from an environment for socialising, also provide tools for application development; thus, already allowing home users to build applications that have a business character and utilize –if not generate- the UCC and social graph.

A Long Story Short

SocIoS comes to cover the aspect of service application composition, provision and consumption using SN environments as containers of social graphs and UCC while at the same time supporting the business nature of service provision. Practically, SocIoS will achieve these by implementing:

  • A SOA infrastructure that will act as a virtualization layer on top of social networking containers
  • A toolset for supporting the business extensions of the developed applications; mainly through SLA support
  • An API that will grant end users with single point access to the underlying functionality, including a set of core wrapper services
  • A user interface that will simplify the use of the SocIoS API for easier application development and deployment by the home user
  • A toolset for third-party services support so they can “blend” with the services developed and deployed using SocIoS, for more effectively delivering applications that exploit the UCC and social graph.

SocIoS will enable common users to access SNs and their applications as well as services created by other users through a single API and combine them in order to create a new application with enhanced functionality tailored to their needs. For SN platforms compatible with SocIoS (BounceIt® and platforms supported by OpenSocial®), it will be possible for the user to include the application in their SN profile. Apart from the common users, independent developers are also potential end-users of the API as it will provide them an easy way of accessing the various services available in the platform.

As the picture depicts, different artefacts are consumed by different end-user categories as SocIoS proposes the provision of a framework addressing the value chain from end-to-end.

Evaluation

In the frame of evaluation of the technologies that will be developed, SocIoS will work on two scenarios that involve all the actors in the supply chain and span through different business models. These scenarios are explained below.

TV Commercial production exploiting both content and social graphs in SNs

TV commercial production professionals need to seek access to shared environments, rich with content and with appropriate tools to easily and effectively mine the data or information that they need while being able to deal with ownership, negotiation, acquisition and billing issues. The information for casting extras, for setting the shooting or getting the required material for film editing can be solely acquired through meticulous research in content archives and collaboration with a large set of people that can be anyone from a professional to a non specialist person that happens to have valuable information available. SocIoS exploits the collaborative and information-rich nature of SNs to provide to the specialist tools for: information filtering and matching; the assessment of source reliability and; IPR handling.

 

Intelligent News and Discussion Matching & Filtering

Based on today’s often simplistic models, SocIoS will define innovative, trustable and intelligent ways for interaction based on advanced rules and filtering technologies. Information living in “containers” such as SNs will be structured and aggregated in order to be customized to the SocIoS end-user’s profile. SocIoS will focus on enabling intelligent matching and filtering of content and ongoing social discussions, e.g. allowing users to narrow and define what content they are accepting from a source as well as allowing content creators to build advanced matching and filtering indicators through rules, advanced metadata and other means of search-content-matching.