Support for information management in virtual organizations

First of all we would like to thank Rune Gustavssonour supervisor at BTH for giving us the opportunity to do this thesis work, and for the help with the insight in making of this thesis. Thank you Mr. Rune to provide us support in presenting our ideas clearly and for discussing with us when we got stuck there your enormous knowledge has helped us a lot.

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Master Thesis Computer Science Thesis No# MCS-2006:07 July 2006 Support for Information Management in Virtual Organizations By: B.B. Pavan Kumar Yadav Kosuri Naga Krishna Kalyan Department of Interaction and System Design School of Engineering Blekinge Tekniska Högskola Box 520 SE- 37225 Ronneby Sweden Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 1 This thesis is submitted to the Department of Computer Science, School of Engineering at Blekinge Institute of Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Computer Science. The thesis is equivalent to 20 weeks of full time studies. Authors E-mail Address B.B.Pavan Kumar Yadav pavankumaryadav@gmail.com Personal Number # 810419-P112 Kosuri Naga Krishna Kalyan kosuri.krishnakalyan@gmail.com Personal Number # 801122- P911 University advisor: Email: rune.gustavsson@bth.se Rune Gustavsson Phone: + 46 0708-341151 School of Engineering Fax: +46 455 385667 Department of Computer Science Blekinge Institute of Technology SE – 37225 Ronneby Sweden Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 2 SPECIAL THANKS TO First of all we would like to thank Rune Gustavsson our supervisor at BTH for giving us the opportunity to do this thesis work, and for the help with the insight in making of this thesis. Thank you Mr. Rune to provide us support in presenting our ideas clearly and for discussing with us when we got stuck there your enormous knowledge has helped us a lot. We also thank Karin Jakobsson for helping us with scheduling meetings on time with our supervisor without which it would have been difficult for us to give this thesis a final shape in the stipulated time. We also thank the fellow students at Blekinge Tekniska Högskola for giving us the support for forming a base of our thesis by taking their precious time in providing us the valuable feedback on the university. We would like to thank all our friends in Sweden as well as in India for suggesting us through different phase of our thesis. Last but not the least we would like to thank our parents who have supported us at every stage with their blessings without them we couldn’t have made up till this position. Thank you all, without your help this thesis wouldn’t have been possible to do! Pavan Kumar Yadav and Kosuri Naga Krishna Kalyan Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 3 ABSTRACT Globalization and innovation are revolutionizing the higher education forcing to create new market trends. Different nations have their own pattern and framework of education in delivering the educational services. Educational institutions are also seeking different organizational and behavioural changes for their better future as they hunt for new financial resources, face new competition and seek greater prestige domestically and internationally. The coming future will decide which universities would survive the market trends, competition and expectations of the students (Clients). The survival-of-the-fittest paradigm framework plays a prominent role in ideas of how the higher education would be delivered to the students in future with the Instruction Technology and distance education. According to us the education trend has changed its phase of delivery of services form the management point of view to student’s point of view. Leading to delivery of educational service’s which would have more impact on student’s education, knowledge and experience within the institution. In our thesis we try to provide some information about how to support and manage the information in Virtual Organizations. We also explore the frameworks of the university and discussed a case study about the different ways of providing better support for information management resulting in delivery of best students driven services and unique facilities. We would be looking at the different aspects of the university work flows and procedures and gain an insight on the student’s expectation from the organization. This investigation would be helpful for the students to know what are the services they should expect from the universities and also helpful for management to know better the needs of the students and their needs and to develop a framework for proper execution of these services. Key Words … Virtual Organization (VO), Requirement Engineering, Stake holders, Work flows, Web services, Semantic web, Student centric services. Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 4 STRUCTURE OF THE DOCUMENT In Chapter 1 we have described the basic introduction about Grid computing and Virtual Organization. Identifying and listing the process of creating a Virtual Organization. A brief introduction of Blekinge Tekniska Högskola (BTH) as organization and the problem statement motivating us to come up with a thesis work. In Chapter 2 we have given a brief description about work flows also describing some of the workflow with in the university from both student’s and management point of view. Chapter 3 describes who is a stakeholder and what his role within an organization is. We tried to list out the stakeholders for the selected workflows mentioned in chapter 2. In this chapter we have discussed the different implementing models with which the workflows are implemented and we also suggested some new technology (Web-Services and Semantic Web Applications) using which the workflows could be properly implemented for better service delivery. Also we have given an approach to implement the web services in the form of a “Remote laboratory setup” framework with which the students can do their experiments from any where in the world through internet. Chapter 4 gives the explanation about Functional and Non-Functional Requirements with emphasis on the Non-Functional requirements which we feel is the most important aspect for developing a system. We have classified the parameters of Non-Functional requirements and illustrated them in detail. In Chapter 5 we have taken BTH as an example of a university and prepared a case study which includes the different issues which we have gathered after discussing with students about the issues they have faced within the university and what improvements they expect within the university by conducting one on one sessions and also getting the feedback from the questionnaire. The feedback questionnaire is shown in Appendix-A. We have then analyzed the different feedback given by the students. After analyzing have proposed a system which could be implemented for better students interaction with university. Also we have discussed about “Student Centric Services” which is the current trend utilised by most of the renowned universities. Chapter 6 gives the conclusion of our thesis and the Future Work that could be performed according to us. Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 5 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page No Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1) Setting up the Scene …………………………………………............................ 9 1.2) Background …………………………………………………………………..... 10 1.2.1) what is grid computing? What is its importance? ……………......... 10 1.2.2) what is VO? What is the required environment for VO? ................. 10 Chapter 1.5 PROBLEM STATEMENT AND CHALLENGES 1.5) Problem Statement…………………………………………………………....... 12 1.5.1) Motivation for thesis ……………………………………………..... 12 1.5.2) Challenge or Research Questions …………………………………. 12 1.5.3) Research methodology …………………………………………….. 12 1.5.4) Guidance to the readers …………………………………………… 14 1.6) Own contribution ……………………………………………………………… 14 1.7) Other Approaches ……………………………………………………………... 14 Chapter 2 WORK FLOWS 2.1) Introduction to Work-flows …………………………………………………… 15 2.2) BTH Organisation Work-Flow Design ……………………………………...... 17 2.2.1) Student Applying for Admission …………………………………. 17 2.2.2) Service for International Students (Accommodation/Pickup Services) ……………………………...... 18 2.2.3) Student Course Registration ……………………………………… 19 Chapter 3 IMPLEMENTING SELECTED WORKFLOWS 3.1) Identification of Stake Holders ………………………………………………... 21 3.1.1) who are stakeholders? ……………………………………………... 21 3.1.2) what is the roles of stakeholders? …………………………………. 21 3.2) Implementation Models ……………………………………………………….. 24 3.2.1) Data-Base model …………………………………………………... 25 3.2.2) Client-Server Model ……………………………………………..... 25 3.2.3) Variant of Web Services …………………………………………... 26 3.3) Remote Laboratory Framework ……………………………………………….. 31 3.4) Semantic Web ……………………………………………………………......... 34 Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 6 Page No Chapter 4 NON-FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS 4.1) Introduction ……………………………………………………………………. 37 4.2) Challenges of Non-Functional Requirements …………………………………. 38 4.3) Classification of Non-Functional Requirements ……………………………... 38 4.3.1) Performance ……………………………………………………….. 39 4.3.2) Maintenance ……………………………………………………….. 39 4.3.3) Portability …………………………………………………………. 40 4.3.4) Scalability …………………………………………………………. 40 4.3.5) Security and Protection ……………………………………………. 41 4.3.6) Information Ownership ……………………………………………. 41 4.3.7) Infrastructure ownership …………………………………………... 42 4.4) Conclusion …………………………………………………………………….. 42 Chapter 5 BTH a Case Study 5.1) BTH an organization …………………………………………………………... 44 5.2) Problems students facing with existing system ……………………………….. 44 5.3) Proposed Information System (Dialogue Based) ……………………………... 46 5.4) Student Centric Services ………………………………………………………. 48 5.4.1) Structure of this section ……………………………………………… 48 5.4.2) what do we mean by student centric services? ………………............. 49 5.4.3) what’s the difference with the current applied framework? …............. 49 5.4.4) Accelerating implementation of Student centric services? ................... 50 5.4.5) Indicative results in achieving standard Student centric service? ……. 50 5.5) Students Expectation with BTH University …………………………………... 50 Chapter 6 Conclusion & Future Work …………………………... 52 References …………………………………………………………………………. 54 Appendix A – Questionnaire distributed to the BTH Students ………………... 58 Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 7 LIST OF FIGURES Fig 1) Support of work flow by services………………………………………….. 13 Fig 2) Student Applying for Admission…………………………………………... 17 Fig 3) Student service for International Students (Accommodation/Pickup Services)……………..……………………………………………………… 18 Fig 4) Student Course Registration ……………………………………………….. 19 Fig 5) Identification of Stake Holders ……………………………………………. 22 Fig 6) Client-Service Model ……………………………………………………… 26 Fig 7) Fundamental participants of Web Services ……………………………….. 27 Fig 8) SOA Architecture…………………………………………………………... 29 Fig 9) Interaction of Stakeholders with Web-Services……………………………. 30 Fig 10) Prototype for Remote Laboratory………………………………………… 31 Fig 11) Remote Laboratory Framework…………………………………………... 33 Fig 12) Classification of Non Functional Requirements………………………….. 39 Fig 13) Classical process of getting the information (Rule Based)……………….. 47 Fig 14) Proposed Information System (Dialogue Based)…………………………. 47 Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 8 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1) Setting up the Scene In this thesis work we are trying to find the different means to develop an organization (especially Educational Institute) so that it would be prominent in providing the most suitable and best services for the students. In turn helps itself for growing its fame and name in the international market. We hope that this document would provide information for students as well as the management of the university about what are the services and what the students should expect from the university also the management should know how the services and information support should be delivered focusing on students requirements. At the end of the thesis the user would get to know the importance of the following: 1. Understanding Requirement Engineering 2. Understanding Technical Ramification 3. Understanding Validation Let us first describe what the Requirement Engineering is about All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them and this leads to discovering/gathering the requirements. Requirements engineering is a term used to describe all the tasks that deals with the investigation, scope and definition of a new or altered computer system. It is the most important part in the business development. The requirements are identified by the business analyst or the developers and then those requirements are positioned to design a solution. There are set of activities in requirement engineering to produce reliable, high quality and trustworthy system. Eliciting requirements: Identify system stake holders its goals and expectations with clearly defined system boundaries. Modelling or specifying requirements: Here focus will be on systematic modelling of both functional and non functional requirements. Functional requirements are specified by system processing states, events (input events, output events, process execution signals) and system data. System data may include identification of data objects, data types, data sources, end-user screen displays, and meta-data, as well as construction of a data dictionary. Functional requirements should also specify system data flow through system or subsystem states as controlled or synchronized by events. In contrast, Non-Functional requirements can be goals, capabilities, and constraints that situate the functional system within some context of operation. Analyzing requirements: Identify system reasoning of the internal consistency, completeness, or correctness of a specification. Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 9 Validating requirements: Here we assess feasibility of modelled system solution, as well as to identify realizable and improbable system requirements. Next step would be to understand the different technical requirements that should be gathered for developing a system. At last how to understand the validation of the system. 1.2) Background 1.2.1) what is grid computing? Grid computing can be defined as an environment which uses the geographically distributed computers connected through internet collectively for high performance computing and resource sharing. This involves computers from multiple organizations crossing organizational boundaries and enables the creation of distributed teams (called as VO- Virtual Organizations). The main goal of Grid computing is to facilitate the creation of virtual organizations, till date there is no much concentration and work done on the policies and mechanism about how the virtual organizations will operate. The criteria behind the creation of virtual organizations are collaborative delivery of specific product or service. These organizations are created by bringing the different aspects of services and facilities for achieving a single purpose. 1.2.2) what is Virtual Organization? What is the required environment for VO? There is no single definition for the virtual organization for example [1] it is defined as a “dynamic collection of individuals and institutions which are required to share resources to achieve certain goals”. [2] Virtual Organization is the temporary network of companies, customers, suppliers or employees linked by information and communication technologies with a purpose of delivering a service or product. First we would like to give the brief description of the virtual organization. [4] A “Virtual Organisation” is simply a group of users with similar interests and requirements who are able to work collaboratively with other members of the group and/or share resources (data, software, CPU, storage space, etc) regardless of geographical location. The principle theory of virtual organization is some of the key aspects they are: well defined processes and performance management to deliver the quality service. Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 10 The process of creating Virtual Organisation: • Identify common goals and objectives. • Identify customers/clients and what are we going to do for them. • Identify the flow of work from beginning to end (Process) • What systems/IT/services will you need to service the customer without acquiring people or buildings? (Systems) • Identify performance measurement systems to ensure that service levels and profitability are maintained? (Metrics) • Without the addition of people and buildings, how are we going to organise the Organisation. Required Environment for virtual organisation • Company goals that cannot be achieved without working together by a group of individuals, businesses or organisations. • Person required leadership skills to bring the group together. • A cluster coordinator -somebody who loves networking and is great at organisation and making things happen. • IT systems that allow the individuals to share ideas and information • A budget to pay for meetings/IT infrastructure/marketing/performance measurement/team building between members etc [5] Support for Information Management In Virtual Organization Page 11 CHAPTER 1.5 PROBLEM STATEMENT AND CHALLENGES 1.5) Problem Statement 1.5.1) Motivation leading to thesis Usually if we look the university in the organizational perspective then we could find that university is the service provider by means of the Staff/employees usually employed by university itself to deliver the services, and students are the service consumers/seekers. The main aim of the universities is to provide the better standard education with the maximum support from the staffs and administrative department easing the work of the students. Today’s technology and concern for delivering proper services is moulded in to such organizations without any proper gathering of student requirements this leads to development of a information system which is fully operational but which exists with improper work procedures and often increases the work pressure on the staff and management. This pressure is indirectly mounted over the students making a negative impact on the experience of the students at the university. So these drive our interest to find out how well the information management could be processed for providing a better support for a virtual organization. 1.5.2) Challenge (research question) Our research drives us to find out what are the most important aspects of requirement engineering? Also what are the most important aspects of validation? From the context of student centric services 1.5.3) Research methodology The thesis is an investigation research from the context of student services where we would discuss about the organization, find the generic workflows and framework within the organization and gather the requirements which are important from the student’s point of view and also analyze their feedback and understand the different aspects where the university lags and what is the best part of university. Trying to explore and discover the answer of making trust worthy environment for service delivery to the students. The figure below describes the support of the workflow by means of services. As usual university has defined staff and student’ work flow. While considering some unclear tas