The work of TAPAS will be structured into four technical workpackages:
- WP1 (Application Service Requirements and Specification) will meet the goals related to SLA specification, Service Composition and Analysis Techniques;
- WP2 (Design of QoS-aware Infrastructure for Application Hosting) and WP3 (Implementation of QoS-aware Core Services) together will meet the goals related to Trusted and QoS-aware Services for Application Hosting; and
- WP4 (Assessment and Evaluation) will meet the goals related to assessment.
The fifth workpackage deals specifically with project dissemination and exploitation and the sixth workpackage deals with project management and coordination.
Basically, within WP1 we will work towards acquiring an understanding of the requirements and then develop SLA specification and its QoS analysis tools and techniques; WP2 will be devoted to the development of trusted and QoS-aware middleware architecture based on the requirements generated from WP1. WP3 will implement the architecture developed in WP2, and WP4 will perform evaluation and assessment of the architecture and its implementation primarily through demonstrator application building exercises. Each technical workpackage has a workpackage leader (lead contractor) responsible for overall direction and production of the deliverables. Furthermore, each workpackage has been divided into a number of related tasks, with a partner with specialist expertise acting as the task leader.
An innovative aspect of this project is its emphasis on hosting of important class of large scale networked multi-party applications that are characterised by a group of entities requiring many-to-many interactions; examples include collaborative applications (e.g., multimedia conferencing, multi-person interactive games), electronic share dealing and auctions, and ‘information supply chain’ applications typically based on publish-subscribe paradigm. Currently, strict separation exists between the middleware that executes application services and the network, so providing services that go beyond ‘the best effort’ is difficult. The next generation Internet is expected to offer services to users to enable them to request and reserve network resources that their applications require. However, application developers will have to deal with the complexities of interacting with communication services for QoS allocation. It is not entirely clear how this interaction should take place, and research work is required on specification and enforcement of QoS at the network level. TAPAS will examine ways of ‘opening the network cloud’ and develop network QoS API for multi-party traffic control. For this reason, TAPAS workpackages contain specific tasks that relate to network level QoS issues.