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Section: Research Program

Introduction

Our scientific foundations are grounded on distributed collaborative systems supported by sophisticated data sharing mechanisms and on service oriented computing with an emphasis on orchestration and on non-functional properties.

Distributed collaborative systems enable distributed group work supported by computer technologies. Designing such systems requires an expertise in Distributed Systems and in Computer-supported collaborative Work research area. Besides theoretical and technical aspects of distributed systems, the design of distributed collaborative systems must take into account the human factor to offer solutions suitable for users and groups. The Coast team vision is to move away from a centralized authority based collaboration towards a decentralized collaboration where users have full control over their data that they can store locally and decide with whom to share them. The Coast team investigates the issues related to the management of distributed shared data and coordination between users and groups.

Service oriented Computing  [21] is an established domain on which the ECOO, Score and now the Coast teams have been contributing for a long time. It refers to the general discipline that studies the development of computer applications on the web. A service is an independent software program with a specific functional context and capabilities published as a service contract (or more traditionally an API). A service composition aggregates a set of services and coordinates their interactions. The scale, the autonomy of services, the heterogeneity and some design principles underlying Service Oriented Computing open new research questions that are at the basis of our research. They span the disciplines of distributed computing, software engineering and computer supported collaborative work (CSCW). Our approach to contribute to the general vision of Service Oriented Computing and more generally to the emerging discipline of Service Science has been and is still to focus on the issue of the efficient and flexible construction of reliable and secure high level services through the coordination/orchestration/composition of other services provided by distributed organizations or people.