Brokering Framework: Preliminary Recommendations

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18 Jan 2021
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 


The meeting will present recent work in respect of the following:

  • Use Cases, Architecture, Requirements, and a Conceptual Model for a Brokering Framework
  • Recommendations for a framework implementation: syntactic and schematic transformations
  • Recommendations for a framework implementation: semantic transformations. This work is based in large part on the work being done by the SEMAF project in Europe, and neeeds to be shared/ validated by a larger community.

We also need to attend to adminsitrative tasks - specifically confirming co-chairs for the working group during its last phase of work.

During the meeting, participants will be asked to comment and rank recommendations via a formal process, and they will be able to add general comments during a discussion session at the end of the process.

The comments and fornal feedback will be used to inform the final set of recommendations in time for Plenary 18.

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session notes (main session):

Collaborative session notes (additional session):

Welcome and Introductions Wim Hugo 5 minutes
Case Statement Review Jay Pearlman/ Michael Diepenbroek 5 minutes
Use Cases and Conceptual Models Wim Hugo 10 minutes
Syntactic and Schematic Transformations - Review of recommendations against use cases Wim Hugo/ Sandra Gesing/ Stefano Nativi 20 minutes
The SEMAF Project and Semantic Transformations - Review of recommendations against use cases

Daan Broeder/

Yann le Franc

15 minutes
Group Discussion and Next Steps All 25 minutes 
Links to other RDA Groups Wim Hugo 5 minutes
Wrap-Up, Confirmation of Co-Chairs Wim Hugo 5 minutes




Target Audience: 

Practitioners and repositories working with semantic artefacts, data and vocabulary services, research data infrastructure developers and managers, end use developers (visualisation, processing, VREs), research data infrastructure architects.

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

Software component interoperability is implemented by defining and using common standards and protocols. In a web services framework, interoperability protocols  are characterized by their interface methods, and bindings as well as their payload content. For example, in the case of protocols for data discovery and access, the payload content contains data and metadata encoded using specific models.    

Mediation and adaptation modules are often used to map two different content models or two different interface methods or two different binding types. Commonly, a mediation module addresses the mediation of one feature characterizing two different protocols - e.g. the payload content model.  

Brokering services can be used to implement more advanced and general mediation functionalities. Brokering components address all the three protocol heterogeneities: methods, bindings, and payload content models. In addition, they implement mediation from many-to-many different protocols. 


Problem Statement

The scope of the WG covers data sources from research and scholarly communication. Within this domain obstacles for wider application of brokering techniques are:

  1. Multiple service protocols for data discovery, access, and application or processing;

  2. Multiple content standards for data and metadata, augmented by Community profiles and non-standard implementations;

  3. Multiple vocabularies and ontologies, often describing the same concepts.

  4. Multiple adaptation and mediation modules that are not guaranteed to be compatible.

Research projects and research data infrastructure initiatives often solve problems associated with this diversity as a matter of course, but the knowledge gained and components developed during such a process are not visible and useful to others. Furthermore, project life cycle limitations lead to lack of sustainability, loss of expertise, code, and infrastructure.


Address the Need

  • Define a description schema for services, vocabularies, ontologies, content standards, and adaptation components based on current community research and operational developments that allow services and clients to be more effectively interfaced with mediation components; leverage prototype registries developed through RDA and other activities based on the above.

  • Describe a collection of existing mediation and adaptation components that can interoperate through well-defined existing interface specifications and applicable standards.

  • Create a mediation and adaptation components registry -the objective is to support implementation of a more general and agnostic mediation capability. This registry outcome may be integrated into DTR and other registry activities in RDA once its characteristics are defined and tested. 

  • Define a test bed environment for testing interoperability of mediation alternatives leading to recommendations for application areas. The focus will be on metadata and data mediation across data systems that address different disciplines and scopes. 

Short Group Status: 

After a period of inactivity, progress has now been made towards a set of preliminary recommendations. These have to be reviewed by the community prior to finalisation in time for Plenary 18.

Tests also have to be developed and implemented.

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Wim Hugo, Yann le Franc, Daan Broeder, Jay Pearlman