WORKS 2020
Conference paper

Enabling Discoverable Trusted Services for Highly Dynamic Decentralized Workflows

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Fifth generation (5G) mobile networks will revolutionize edge-based computing by providing fast and reliable network capabilities to remote sensors, devices and microservices. This heralds new opportunities for researchers, allowing remote instrumentation and analytic capabilities to be as accessible as local resources. The increased availability of remote data and services presents new opportunities for collaboration, yet introduces challenges for workflow orchestration, which will need to adapt to consider an increased choice of available services, including those from trusted partners and the wider community. In this paper we outline a workflow approach that provides decentralized discovery and orchestration of verifiably trustable services in support of multi-party operations. We base this work on the adoption of standardised data models and protocols emerging from hypermedia research, which has demonstrated success in using combinations of Linked Data, Web of Things (WoT) and semantic technologies to provide mechanisms for autonomous goal-directed agents to discover, execute and reuse new heterogeneous resources and behaviours in large-scale, dynamic environments. We adopt Verifiable Credentials (VCs) to securely share information amongst peers based on prior service usage in a cryptographically secure and tamperproof way, providing a trust-based framework for ratifying service qualities. Collating these new service description channels and integrating with existing decentralized workflow research based on vector symbolic architecture (VSA) provides an enhanced semantic search space for efficient and trusted service discovery that will be necessary for 5G edge-computing environments.