TENACIOUS project aims at building a Cloud Service Marketplace, supported by the trust and security ensured by blockchain technology. In this interview, team member Antonio Esposito explains the key role that the synergies established with other ONTOCHAIN’s teams play in the work they are developing.
Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Antonio Esposito, and I currently am Assistant Professor at the Department of Engineering of the University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", where I am part of the PARSEC research group. My main topics of interest include Cloud Computing, Semantic Web technologies with application to Portability and Interoperability of Services, and Software Engineering.
How did you hear about ONTOCHAIN?
Being my research group very focused on Semantics and Service Interoperability, we are constantly updating our knowledge of the state-of-the-art and looking around for similar research efforts. So, we came across the NGI Website and learned about ONTOCHAIN.
What motivated you to apply?
At first we saw many points of contact between the research topics pursued by ONTOCHAIN and our own, especially regarding the application of Semantic technologies and the concept of Interoperability. However, ONTOCHAIN mainly represented a good opportunity to expand our research network and explore the Blockchain technologies, by bringing together researchers from different areas of expertise. Indeed, the team behind the TENACIOUS proposal is composed by people from different Universities, reunited under the Italian National Interuniversity Consortium for Informatics (CINI - Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per l'Informatica).
How was the application process?
The whole process was surely challenging, but also stimulating. It gave us the opportunity to write down ideas and concepts and give them a more concrete context, and to look for novel applications of our research work.
Can you briefly explain your project and its contribution to the ONTOCHAIN software ecosystem?
TENACIOUS aims at building a Cloud Service Marketplace, where the indexing, discovery, and composition of Services is enabled by Semantics, while the Blockchain is used to ensure trust and security. In our vision, the Marketplace will also exploit Smart Contracts and Oracles to assess the compliance of Cloud Services to SLAs, and will provide a testbed for Blockchain based technologies and solutions. By developing ontologies to enhance Service and Data interoperability, and implementing software components, based on the Blockchain, to build trust and consensus, the project will contribute to the overall objectives of ONTOCHAIN.
The ONTOCHAIN project is based on a co-development process, how can you benefit from an experience like this? And what type of synergies are you eager to explore with the other selected teams?
The possibility to collaborate with the other teams is surely one of the major benefits offered by the ONTOCHAIN project, since it facilitates the circulation of ideas and solutions, and it boosts the exchange of useful information. This will surely positively influence the growth of our team, as it will push us to explore new research areas and to find innovative solutions, also taking in consideration the findings and needs of other projects. There are several aspects that need to be addressed in the development of a Cloud Service Marketplace, as the one envisioned by TENACIOUS, and through the collaboration and the synergies with other teams it will surely be possible to quickly and smoothly identify solutions, and to focus on topics that are of major interest for us, while at the same time contributing to build a coherent software ecosystem.
What are your expectations regarding the new software ecosystem that ONTOCHAIN will deliver, its contribution to the NGI priority areas, and benefits for end users?
We expect ONTOCHAIN to act as an incubator for novel, innovative technologies and solutions, that will enhance the sense of trust, security and inclusion envisioned by NGI in regards to a human-centric Internet. ONTOCHAIN has a strong focus on collaboration among teams and their members, stressing the importance of building synergies that, in the future, will support and boost the birth of strong research networks. When solutions are built within a decentralized, collaboration-based ecosystem, they will be more flexible and adaptable, and will surely better support end-users, enhancing interoperability and portability of data and services.