Senior Citizen Service Management Using WebAging System
Victor POPA, Liliana CONSTANTINESCU, Carmen ROTUNĂ
National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics – ICI, Bucharest
8-10 Averescu Avenue, Bucharest 1, Romania
Abstract: The paper presents the WebAging system, designed and developed to provide a single access point to Web services for elderly persons. The system uses semantic technology to organize services in communities. Each community is based on a domain having a collection of generic operations. Understanding the semantics of domains as well as their generic operations, by elderly people, is based on semantic attributes as synonyms, function, purpose etc.
Keywords: Semantic attributes, domains taxonomy, communities of services, services registration, customizing access to services, precedence trees.
Victor Popa has been a researcher within “National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics” since 1977. He has led many national research projects including WebAging project from national program PNCDII. He has collaborated with partners from France, Italy, and Spanish within European research projects as MECASP, WebBis etc. His research interests include: Web services modeling, Ontology, e-Government services etc.
Liliana Constantinescu, programmer of the National Institute for Research – Development in Informatics, ICI Bucharest, research project coordinator within the national programs for Research and Development: Relansin, CEEX, PNCDI II, Nucleu. Liliana Constantinescu is author/co-author of 30 articles and studies, published in Romania. Her research interests include the theoretical and practical aspects of nation-wide information systems, in particular, the development of web-services for elderly people.
Carmen Rotună, graduated from University of Bucharest with a B.Sc. majoring in Computer Science, in 2008. She is a second year Master’s student in “Databases and Web technologies” at the same university. Since 2008 she has been a programmer at “National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics” and she is working mainly as a C# developer, tester and documentation writer. Her research interests include: NET Framework, C#, databases, web technologies and, particularly, the development of Web services.
CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Victor POPA, Liliana CONSTANTINESCU, Carmen ROTUNĂ, Senior Citizen Service Management Using WebAging System, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 18 (4), pp. 363-368, 2009.
Although the volume of Web services for elderly persons is growing, many online services remain still used at a low degree, due to several factors such as:
- Difficulty or impossibility of finding websites where on-line suppliers post their services;
- Difficulty in understanding the semantics of methods implemented by online services, this factor negatively influencing the user in the selection process of the most suitable methods;
- Difficulty in understanding the input parameters semantics required by computer-implemented methods designed for on-line service, this factor negatively influencing the process of providing fair values of these parameters by users;
- Difficulty in providing execution control of methods implemented in online services;
- Difficulty in customizing services.
WebAging system, designed and developed in the research program PNCD II , is relevant to the above challenges. WebAging’s main objective is to provide easy and personalized access to online services for elderly persons: services provided by government agencies, non-governmental agencies, foundations, institutions, trade organizations etc.
To achieve this, WebAging system organizes Web services in communities, each community corresponding to a domain of interest for elderly people. Communities in their turn are organized in a hierarchical structure using Domains taxonomy. This organization provides elderly people with an easy access to Web services designed for them. Elderly people will browse among the nodes of Domains taxonomy and will select generic operations in order to invoke them, without the need to know details about Web services that will be executed as a result of invocating generic operations. Mapping generic operations over the concrete methods of Web services that implement these generic operations is provided by the system. Semantic structure of domains (synonyms, etc) as well as the semantic structure of generic operations (function, synonyms of function, the role of Input/ Output parameters), enable elderly persons to easily make a selection of interest areas and then the generic operations to be invoked.
WebAging provides the following functions:
- Definition and management of Domains taxonomy, including interest areas for services designed for elderly people (social, health, etc.);
- Definition and management of Web services descriptions;
- Services registration in WebAging;
- User profiles management and customizing services access;
- Web Services Execution.
Classic scenario of using WebAging system includes the following steps:
- An elderly person connects to the system providing connection parameters (Password, user-ID),
- An elderly person browses the Domains taxonomy to select the interest domain,
- An elderly person browses the collection of generic operations for domain selected during the previous step and clicks generic interest operation,
- The system calculates the precedence tree for the operation invoked and displays it on screen; the tree will have as root the operation invoked,
- The elderly person clicks every generic operation from tree on the screen, in order to invoke these operations. Clicking nodes is starting with terminal nodes and finishing with tree root. If an error occurs while invoking an operation from the generic tree, the system doesn’t continue to invoke operations in the remaining tree.
Invoking a generic operation from the precedence tree involves the following steps:
- WebAging system maps the generic operation invoked in a concrete method of a Web service.
- WebAging system runs the concrete method of the Web service and returns the result.
The next section will detail WebAging system functions listed above.
WebAging system was designed and developed to provide a single access point of Web services for elder persons. The services access interface is simple and based on Domains taxonomy, each domain including a collection of generic operations to be invoked. Understanding the semantics of domains as well as their generic operations, by elder people, is based on semantic attributes as synonyms, function, purpose etc.
Correspondence between generic operations and concrete methods of Web services, to be effectively executed, is provided by the system, this leading to a simplified access of Web services provided by various organizations, by elder people.
This work has been carried out within the project “Flexible system designed to enable a customized access to services that benefit senior citizens” financed by CNMP (The Romanian Centre for the management of R&D programs), http://126.96.36.199/ webagin/
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