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A Service-Based Infrastructure for Advanced Logistics. Luciano Baresi, Daniele Braga, Marco Comuzzi , Filippo Pacifici, and Pierluigi Plebani ESEC-FSE 2 nd Int. Workshop on Service-Oriented Software Engineering Dubrovnik, September 3 rd 2007. Outline. Dangerous goods transportation

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A Service-Based Infrastructure for Advanced Logistics

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A Service-Based Infrastructure for Advanced Logistics

Luciano Baresi, Daniele Braga, Marco Comuzzi, Filippo Pacifici, and Pierluigi Plebani

ESEC-FSE 2nd Int. Workshop on Service-Oriented Software Engineering

Dubrovnik, September 3rd 2007


  • Dangerous goods transportation

    • The scenario: constraints and issues

    • Technological solutions: state of the art

  • Exploiting Web services in dangerous goods transportation

  • The proposed solutions

    • Abstraction of physical devices

    • Service infrastructures

    • Usage scenarios

  • Concluding remarks and future work

The scenario: dangerous goods transportation

  • Dangerous goods transportation: several constraints and requirements

    • European Agreement Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR)

      • Standardize packaging and labels

      • Construction, equipment, use of vehicles

    • Efforts for standardizing risk management practices and rescue activities

  • One basic issue

    • European countries converging from the normative point of view

    • Very little has been done on integration from the technological standpoint

      • Intra-company solutions

      • Industry solutions

Technological support in dangerous goods transportation

  • Dangerous goods transportation as an instance of crisis management scenarios

    • Medical emergencies

    • Terrorist attacks

    • ...

  • The role of technology

    • Collecting updated information during routine operations

      • Tracking and tracing  routes scheduling, traffic prediction,...

    • Support the organization of rescue activities after disruptive events

      • Risk management (recovery from accidents)  Improve coordination among rescue agencies

The Italian Scenario

  • EASyLog (E-Adaptive Services for Logistics): a national project

    • Develop innovative technological support to dangeorus goods transportation

    • The scenario: inter-modal transportation: road, rail, parking areas

      • Containers might travel (rail) unsupervised or remain (parking areas) unsupervised for long time

      • Need for container-dependent technologies

  • The state of the art in dangerous goods transportation: highly heterogeneous

    • Tracking and tracing of transported goods made by individual companies

    • Mobile phones, proprietary networking solutions

      • Tracking usually associated to trucks, not containers

    • No coordination and interoperability among companies technological platform

    • Lack of support for risk management

Dangerous goods transportation and Web services

  • Exploiting Web services

  • Web services exploited at two levels

    • Intra-company (fleet management)

      • Web Services implement the abstraction of physical devices (temperature, pressure, position) placed on the container of dangerous goods (and not on the truck)

      • Web services as resources that provide information on the status of the container

    • Inter-company

      • Interoperable exchange of data among companies and risk management agency

      • Web services for seamless integration of Enterprise Information Systems

  • Better coordination among companies

    • Joint and efficient schedule of routes

    • Provide updated information to customers

  • Better coordination with risk managers (private and public agencies, firemen, police,...)

    • Centralized (inter-company) monitoring systems

    • Timely detection of emergencies

    • Easier collection of information about damanged containers and detection of accidents

  • Generally: easier to bring advanced solutions to Small and Medium Enterprises

Device Abstraction: the generic approach

  • Three layered architecture for device abstraction

  • Communication only between adjacent layers

    • Events to upper layer

    • Synchrounous commands to lower layer

  • The application level views sensing devices as APIs

GPRS, UWB Tags, Sun Spot, Zigbee,…

Device Abstraction in our approach

Application level API

Two networking protocols for sensing devices communication

  • GPRS: for communication while travelling

  • Ultra Wide Band (or Wi-Fi): in parking areas (hubs)

    Other networking protocol can be accommodated when a suitable abstraction is implemented

Service infrastructure: the implemented approach

  • Containers (devices) abstracted as a set of Web services

  • Proprietary networking solutions to communicate with devices while travelling

  • Risk manager WS interacts with the Company WS for gathering information on containers

  • The main issue: dependency on the proprietary application protocol for devices

    • The company must know the type of device

    • Parking areas must adopt the same technology installed on the container





Service infrastructure: tracking information storage

  • Tracking and tracing

    • Periodical (asynchronous) notification of the status (position, temperature, pressure,...) by the container, stored in the company’s status DB

  • Data in the status DB can be read by the EIS (of different companies)

    • E.g., routes scheduling, data exchange with other companies

  • Anomalous patterns can be detected and signalled to the Risk Management Agency

Service infrastructure: risk management

  • Risk Management

    • An accident is signaled to the Risk Management agency

    • The risk manager asks for the position and status of containers (synchronous communication)

      • If the container is not reachable (severe damage) the most updated information from the status DB is retrieved

      • The Logical Container provides the logic for selecting the UWB or GPRS networking protocol

    • The collected information supports the organization of rescue actvities

Service infrastructure: a look to the future (?)

  • Smart containers: the abstraction to WS is implemented directly on the device

    • Communication with devices via HTTP, SOAP

    • Full interoperability: no proprietary solutions, no need for the registry of logical containers

  • Main issue

    • Computational power and cost of devices to implement the abstraction (e.g., Sun Spot, J2mE programmable devices)

Open issues and future work

  • Security issues concerning information exchange among heterogenous company (e.g., privacy of data)

  • Actual feasibility of the proposed approach w.r.t. current status of dangerous goods transportation industry

    • Technical issues (e.g., where to put antennas...)

    • Costs

  • Future work

    • Concluding the implementation of supporting tools

    • Adoption of WSDM to increase the use of standards in the service infrastructure

    • Integration with the ORCHESTRA platform for risk management (Integrated platform for cross-context risk management)




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