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Mashups and Widget Orchestration

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

The mashup era has emerged in response to the challenge of integrating existing services, data sources, and tools to generate new applications. The mashups are usually realized either through a seamless integration, in which only the resulting application is known by the end-users, or through integration of original applications, data sources, and tools, particularly in terms of widgets, into the same graphical space, in which participating applications and data sources are identifiable by the end-users. The former composes a unified functionality or data presentation/source from the original sources. The latter generates a digital environment in which participating sources exist as individual entities, but the true integration can only be realized through enabling widgets to be responsive to the events happening in each other. We call such an integration widget orchestration. In this paper, we provide a holistic view on the mashup era and a theoretical grounding for widget-based digital environments, we elaborate on key challenges for realizing such environments and (semi-)automatic widget orchestration, and we introduce our solution strategies. We identified following challenges: widget interoperability, user-behavior mining, and infrastructure. We introduce functional interfaces (FWI) for application interoperability, exploit semantic web technologies for data interoperability, and investigate the possibility of employing workflow/process mining techniques, along with Petri nets as a formal ground, for user-behavior mining. We outline a reference platform and architecture, compliant with our strategies, to foster re-usability of widgets and development of standardized widget-based environments. We have implemented a prototype for a Widget-based Personal Learning Environment (WIPLE) for foreign language learning in order to demonstrate the feasibility of our solution strategies, framework, and architecture.
Book: Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems
Pages: 226 - 234
Publication year:2011