Brokering Framework - Update and FInalisation

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31 Oct 2022
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

Presenting and reviewing the work of the Brokering Framework Working Group, obtaining feedback from the community on recommendations and best practices, and confirming remaining steps prior to adoption. The session will review a number of new use cases and validate these aginst the draft recommendations of the working group.

Meeting agenda: 


Collaborative session notes:

  1. Overview of work to date (W Hugo)

  2. Overview of updated use cases and conceptual background (W Hugo - moderator). These will take the form of short pre-recorded presentations

    1. FAIRCORE4EOSC Use Cases (T Suominen)

    2. FAIR-IMPACT Use Cases (V Kalaidzi)

    3. EOSC Technical Interoperability Use Case(s) (E Sciacchi - TBC)

    4. Metadata Crosswalks and SEMAF Use Cases (D Broeder - TBC)

    5. Use cases contributed by WG members before end January 2023.

  3. Present and review design considerations for federated registries of mediators, and brokering services - validate against use cases (W Hugo)

  4. Present and review recommendations and best practices - validate against use cases (W Hugo)

  5. Next steps (All)

Target Audience: 

Systems developers, architects, and service users in the research data infrastructure landscape. Specifically dealing with aspects of technical and semantic interoperability, and how to develop registries of interoperability services (crosswalks, transformations, mediation and brokering) in such a way that it is reliable, sustainable, and beneficial.

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

The Brokering Working Group was formed to explore a framework for the creation of and desired characteristics of federated infrastructure to register and invoke services for mediation and brokering. These are, in turn, a critical element of interoperability on many levels, since complete and narrow standardisation across the full scope of such infrastructure remains elusive and is likely to remain so.

In research data and related infrastructure, a federated ecosystem of services exist, and these services support a large variety of use cases. These deal with, inter alia, 

  • Deposit of research outputs and metadata into repositories,

  • Verification of schema and file formats,

  • Assessment of various types of compliance, 

  • Indexing, facetting, and cataloguing tools and services

  • Search and discovery tools and APIs,

  • Data access and transformation services, such as content negotiation,

  • Value-added applications, tools, and workflows.

Increasingly, access to research outputs, metadata, and supporting services in the ecosystem are machine actionable and accessible via APIs.

Mediation is defined as services that assist with the transformation of or mapping of the typical API responses we deal with in our infrastructure to the specification of a client or consumer of that API response, and brokering refers to mechanisms to select and invoke the most suitable or fitting mediation or series of mediations to achieve a specific outcome.


Some examples or mediations:

  • Technical (Syntactic) interoperability:

    • Resolution and redirection services, for example a PID service or an alias for a vocabulary URI

    • Syntax translation and mapping – for example transforming a OAI-PMH request into a different harvesting protocol or vice versa

  • Technical (Schematic) Interoperability

    • Simple (MIME Type) transformations (e.g. XLS to CSV, XML to JSON, Shape Files to GeoJSON, …)

    • Mapping LOD references to match compliance verification (for example FAIR, PID Policy Compliance, ...)

    • Compression (list of folders to a zip)

    • These can be lossy or lossless

  • Semantic Interoperability (as exemplified in the SEMAF proposal)

    • Simple Semantic transformations and crosswalks (e.g. Dublin Core to, etc. with only exact equivalences)

    •  Semantic mappings between API semantics and tool semantics (e.g. mapping  a data service API response to a charting visualisation)

    • Fuzzy and imprecise semantic mappings that involve named relations between the individual source and target elements, and may involve many-to many mappings

    • ...

Many examples have been collected in the work done by RDA in other working groups.

Short Group Status: 

The working group is restarting after a period of dormancy. The aim is to finalise the set of recommendations after validation against a set of use cases, and define the 'Brokering Framework' as envisaged in the case statement, with a view to final publication prior to Plenary 21.

Type of Meeting: 
Informative meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (1): 
Meeting presenters: 
Wim Hugo, Tommi Suominen, Vasso Kalaidzi