What is it about?

Service computing, and attendant service composition activities, are being fueled by the emergence of software service marketplaces. For example, salesforce.com’s AppExchange and Microsoft’s Windows Azure Marketplace provide platforms where software service providers can list their services (i.e., component services). Other firms can leverage these marketplaces to develop customized products (e.g., composite services) using the components from these providers. Service users and providers often have conflicting interests, e.g., a user would want to pay as little as possible for a service while a provider would want to charge as much as possible. Negotiation can help users and providers explore what is possible at the time of a service request and develop agreements acceptable to both parties. Extant automated negotiation methods require the specification of reservation values for all quality of service attributes such as response time, availability, price, data quality, etc. We develop a multi-objective optimization methodology that determines the reservation values a user (or broker) should use for each component service based on the user’s minimum requirements for the composite service. Our method improves the effectiveness of automated negotiations when developing new value-added services, thus injecting more flexibility to the development of software services.

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Why is it important?

Automated negotiation adds an important aspect to service composition, and the determination of proper reservation values impacts the likelihood of successful outcomes. The approach presented here helps determine optimal reservation values for the individual services based on the overall reservation values for a composite service the user is interested in.


Interestingly, we find that when the providers' preferences are known to the broker, the utilities of both the user and the provider improves.

Sumit Sarkar
University of Texas at Dallas

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This page is a summary of: How High Should We Go? Determining Reservation Values to Negotiate Successfully for Composite Software Services, Information Systems Research, April 2017, INFORMS, DOI: 10.1287/isre.2016.0678.
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