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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

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)