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TuCSoN

In this project we want to exploit the TuCSoN infrastructure in order to realise and test an EHR coordination middleware (see Figure below). TuCSoN (Tuple Centres Spread over the Network) is an open-source coordination infrastructure managing the interaction space of a software system by means of ReSpecT semantic tuple centers — logic-based semantic tuple centres. From the topology point of view TuCSoN supports any kind of topology. However, by default tuple centres are distributed through the network, hosted in the nodes of the infrastructure, and organized into articulated domains. A domain is composed of a gateway node and a set of nodes called places. A place is meant to host tuple centres for the specific applications / systems, while the gateway node is meant to host tuple centres used for domain administration, keeping information on the places. From the security point of view, TuCSoN adopts the Role Base Access Control (RBAC) model to define authorisation rules based on the role and policy concepts. A role can be seen as a set of policies while a policy represents a set of rules associated to a role constraining the interaction between the system actors playing the role, and the system. Moreover, TuCSoN provides coordination and security abstractions as first-class runtime abstractions. Furthermore, it adopts an organisation model in order to provide the description of the system structures and their relationships — the system configuration — in terms of coordination, topology and security, as a set of first-class abstractions. As well as for the coordination and security abstractions, organisation abstractions are provided as runtime abstractions. Finally, since TuCSoN comes from the Multi-agent System (MAS) domain, it also supports intelligent agent coordination.

The motivations behind the choice of TuCSoN are:

  • TuCSoN provides the organisation abstraction to describe the structures and rules composing a system. In particular, it is possible to model an XDS Affinity Domain as an organisation that, as shown in the figure below, it is composed by a set of semantic tuple-centres to provide a coordination service, a set of roles and polices to provide a security service and a topological relationship with other organisations (Affinity Domains). The organisation configuration is defined trhough the service $ORG shown in the figure. The ReSpecT framework provides Tuple centres and by exploiting the RBAC service provided by TuCSoN, it is possible to enact the policies associated to roles.
  • The hierarchical topology of TuCSoN well fits the topology required by the EHR scenario. In particular, an XDS Affinity Domain as an organisation can be mapped in a TuCSoN domain whose TuCSoN gateway maintain the information about the TuCSoN places belonging to the same domain, representing the health institutions belonging to the same Affinity Domain.
tucson-architecture.png
Figure. The role of TuCSoN in the coordination middleware

  • TuCSoN provides coordination, organisation and security abstractions as first-class runtime abstractions allowing their inspection and modification. This is useful to deal with dynamic monitoring and incremental evolution of the configuration of the HER coordination middleware so as to face emerging application requirements.
  • TuCSoN supports Multi-agent Systems (MASs) coordination. In particular, since the state of the coordination, organisation, and security abstractions are represented through a logic language, it is possible to add intelligent behaviour to the coordination middleware by exploiting intelligent agents. For example, it could be useful to promote self- configuration and self-adaptation of the coordination middleware: in fact, once an intelligent agent is enabled to inspect / change the runtime middleware abstractions, it can in principle reason about the state of such abstractions, make inferences, and possibly plan coordination configuration evolution, e.g. fix some undesired behaviour, or adapt to environmental changes.
In order to exploit the TuCSoN infrastructure it is first needed to extend it in order to fit all requirements described in the project proposal.

Other tools

In this project we want also to exploit the experience acquired CASCOM, MediCoordination and SACoord projects. The projects produced coordination middleware prototypes to coordinate actors in a health care scenario, as well as a set of qualitative and quantitative tests. Thus, through such experiences the research group has been acquired expertise in the e- Health application domain, in particular about requirements, standards, international initiatives and existent technologies, such as IHE profiles.