Mulichannel Adaptive Information Systems (MAIS)
The goal of the MAIS project is the development of models, methods and tools that allow the implementation of multichannel adaptive information systems able to provide services with respect to different types of networks and of access devices. The main problems that are tackled in the project are adaptivity, which provides flexibility (even in presence a variety of technological platforms and user requirements), and transactionality, which provides security and reliability (also in presence of failures or unavailability of services).
The interaction paradigm between subsystems is peer-to-peer. Indeed, both at the application level and at the device level, the peer-to-peer approach is currently the most interesting from the research point of view, because it allows a more flexible utilization of the available resources, with a better behaviour than the traditional client-server paradigm.
Final goal of the research is the development of an enabling platform for the development of distributed information systems, with significant adaptivity features. MAIS project will provide a reference architecture, based on the definition of various levels of repositories and communication protocols, that allows the development of multichannel adaptive information systems. For what concerns terminal devices, the attention will be on low-energy, flexible, scalable architectures that allow the realization of server functionalities on mobile devices and of “software radio” transmission systems and on a mid-tier level that allows a management of channels and services that be adaptive to the context. The final services offered to the user (e-services) will be handled in a flexible way by the platform, with a negotiation at the application level. Attention will also be devoted to methodological aspects related to the development of multichannel adaptive information systems. The analysis of dynamically varying characteristics of the use of services, networks and devices is at the basis of context information and user profiles needed for pursuing adaptivity of services. SAL is responsible for WP 3 whose final goal is to device a reflective framework (and related architectural abstractions), which allows to observer and to control at the application level the internal structure and the behaviour of a system. Computation reflection and Architectural reflection will help in defining the set of architectural abstractions since the basic idea is that the resources of a system may be modelled as meta-objects which provide, at a specific level of abstraction, the visibility of significant characteristics in terms of QoS (Quality of Service). The architecture that SAL defined supports the definition of several layers corresponding to more and more abstract representations of QoS issues. Layering should not be embedded into the architecture, which should allow layers to be defined and exploited according to the requirements of specific application domains.