Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The rapid growth of distributed information system environments as well as publicly accessible information and knowledge require a new design paradigm for the Cooperative Distributed System (CDS). Moreover, these computing environments are open environments, where the presence of an information source is unpredictable, no common representation structure of knowledge is predefined, and the control is autonomous. In such environments, the autonomous, distributed and heterogeneous nature of the information requires a significant amount of time and effort for entities of the environment to communicate and interact with each other. In order to deal with the autonomous, distributed and heterogeneous nature of the Open CDS, Agent-Oriented (AO) Architecture and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) technologies are promising design paradigms and have a growing appeal for designing such systems. On the other hand, Web Services technology is considered appropriate in dealing with the distribution nature of the Open CDS environment. This thesis proposes a web-based multi-agent multi-tier architecture - Service-Oriented Semantic-Driven Architecture (SOSDA). The Web Service, backed up by Agent technology and enabled by the semantic view transformation service capability, cooperatively assists semantic heterogeneous information from distributed sources to be shared. This work addresses the fundamental aspects of semantics including the meaning of the data, information, conceptualization and ontology. Furthermore, considering the challenge that the entities in the Open environment have no global view and global control privilege, this work presents a novel way to define partial knowledge toward a business domain. It first attempts to provide a generic definition for the ontological view owned by the entities in the Open environment. Entities in the Open environment might exhibit heterogeneous ontological views when they try to share their knowledge about a common domain. Based on the definition of ontological view, solutions in mathematical formulation and corresponding application algorithms are proposed. This resolution iii enables the services for ontological view transformation to deal with structural constant heterogeneity and predicate heterogeneity correspondingly. The feasibility of the proposed system has been demonstrated by implementing a prototype in the manufacturing scheduling domain. In this implementation, it is demonstrated how SOSDA could be used to transparently transform the ontological view from autonomous, heterogeneous and distributed entities in the Open CDS environment.



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