Focusing on a Unified Service Description Language for Linked Service Systems (LSS-UDSL)

In the interest of “doing something” with my study of service science, I’ve decided to close off (for now at least) my searching and re-searching the most promising approaches to designing, implementing, and evaluating various models of service, service systems, and service networks, and to focus on a family of models (expressing the “Unified Service Description Language”) developed by Jorge Cardoso and his associates in the past few years.

In 2014, Cardoso, Lopes and Poels developed a variant of the Unified Service Description Language that was suited to Linked Service Systems (LSS-USDL). The design of the LSS-USDL was the culmination of three principal efforts:

Basic Definitions

For an extended discussion of these definitions, see Linked Service System USDL (LSS-USDL) – Perspectives, definitions and objectives.

Definition 1 – service is a previously agreed exchange of competences and knowledge between a provider and a customer in order to provide value to both parties.

Definition 2 – A service system is a collection of resources, stakeholders, processes and other service assets that, combined, enable value co-creation between producer and consumer.

Definition 3 – A service model is an abstraction of a service system that highlights its structure, its elements, and the relations between elements, hiding its complex nature from who does not need to know it.

Definition 4 – Service architecture is the set of rules and guidelines for the components, relationships and interfaces of the structural elements of a software-based service that guides the organization of that service.

Definition 5 – A service instance (or service description) is an instance of a model. It captures the information describing a particular service. It is the result or output of the activity of service modeling.

Definition 6 – A business model is a conceptual representation of the business of an organization intended to describe its services, stakeholders, interactions, value propositions, explanations on how the organization meets customer goals, and how it makes profit.

Figure 1 contextualizes the scope of a service system model like the LSS-USDL. A business model is a higher-level model that contains many service systems. A service system is modeled by one or more service models, which may contain models for its internal elements, such as process models.

Levels of abstraction with business models, service models, and process models

Figure 1. Levels of abstraction with business models, service models, and process models.

Different stakeholders can “see” a service system from different views or perspectives by accessing various service descriptions (Figure 2).

Business models, service systems, service models, process models, and service descriptions

Figure 2. Business models, service systems, service models, process models, and service descriptions.

The LSS-USDL implements Linked Data and Semantic Web technologies. Let’s see how.

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