2016-12-12

Smart-Home as a System-of-Systems reference architecture

This article uses the systems approach to define a reference architecture for the smart-home system domain. It is a continuation of the “Thing-as-a-System reference architecture for #IoT” article ( see https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/thing-as-a-system-reference-architecture-iot-alexander-samarin or http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/11/thing-as-system-reference-architecture.html ).

1 Basic concepts


The systems approach is a holistic approach to understanding a system and its discrete parts in the context of their behaviour and their relationships to one another and to their environment.

System domain is a subject field to which the systems approach is applied.

Examples are Smart-Energy, Smart-Home, Smart-Cities and Active Assisted Living (i.e. supporting people of any age with a temporary or permanent disability or impairment). The IoT is considered as a system domain as well.

Functional domain is a set of functions for fulfilment of top-level unit-of-purpose of a particular system.

Networking actors are people, digital services, digital applications and systems interacting over digital networks, primarily, the Internet.

Cyber-Physical System (CPS) is a system (comprises physical and digital discrete parts) that can interact with the physical world and networking actors.

Examples of CPS include autonomous automobile systems, process control systems, robotics systems, automatic pilot avionics, data acquisition and control systems for particle detectors at CERN, etc.

Thing is an intellectual (to some extend) cyber-physical device.

Thing as a System (TaaSy) is accessible, programmable and collaborative via digital services Thing which is considered as an CPS system. See [ref1].

Final-beneficiary
is a person or an organisation served by a particular system domain (e.g. person who lives in a smart-home).

Wikipedia defines the “smart-home” concept or “home-automation” concept (also known as domotics or domotica) as the residential extension of building automation and involves the control and automation of lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, and security, as well as home appliances such as washer/dryers, ovens or refrigerators/freezers that use WiFi for remote monitoring.


Unfortunately, this definition has a few drawbacks, namely:
  • it does not emphasize that all the cyber-physical devices within a particular home must work together as a system to achieve synergy and guarantee a good level of security and other desirable outcomes;
  • home is place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household (thus final-beneficiaries for homes and buildings are different);
  • other factors must be considered, e.g. political, socio-cultural, legal, etc.;
  • smart-home systems is a class of cyber-physical systems.
Chapter 3 offers another definition of the smart-home concept to overcome these drawbacks.

2 Requirements for any smart-home implementation as a cyber-physical system


Some requirements (as an example) for any smart-home implementation:
  1. Home-related internal activities can be progressively automated by intellectual cyber-physical devices.
  2. Many various intellectual cyber-physical devices can be used synergistically at the same time.
  3. Many various intellectual cyber-physical devices can be used synergistically at the same time and in the same place.
  4. Some final-beneficiary can add new intellectual cyber-physical devices, digital applications and digital services.
  5. Some functions of the intellectual cyber-physical device may be used at the smart-home scale, for example, a stereo could be used to broadcast an alert.
  6. Various aspects of the smart-home functioning (e.g. level of security, environmental impact, comfort, etc.) must be integrally (i.e. including all the available information) monitored, analysed, controlled, alerted and acted on.
  7. High level of trustworthiness (includes security, privacy, safety, reliability, and resilience) of any smart-home implementation.

3 System-forming considerations for any smart-home implementation


Note: The highlighted texts below are the essence of system-forming considerations.

The guiding motif of the smart-home system domain is that all the intellectual cyber-physical devices within a particular smart-home implementation must work together as a system. Explicit systems architecting and engineering is only a way to achieve security and operational excellence of smart-home implementations. In other words, the role of any smart-home implementation is to make a “forest” from individual “trees” (i.e. intellectual cyber-physical devices).

The key architectural decision about the smart-home reference architecture is that two primary concerns, namely, IoT (i.e. intellectual cyber-physical devices ) and smart-home, are separated. Because each intellectual cyber-physical device is, actually, a cyber-physical system then the smart-home is a digital system which includes many Thing-as-a-System (TaaSy) and is aimed for improving functioning of people’s home as a system.

Thus, it is possible to consider Smart-Home as a System of Systems (SHaaSoS). The SHaaSoS primary parts are:
  • final-beneficiaries;
  • other people involved in the smart-home lifecycle;
  • various TaaSy, and
  • various digital services and digital applications.
Technically, the SHaaSoS is a smart composition of various, even non-existing yet, TaaSy. The SHaaSoS as a composition environment must be also very adaptive, flexible and secure, for example:
  • recognise some functionality of TaaSy as essential for the whole system;
  • allow different functional domains to cooperate: for example, healthcare domains may use video surveillance functionality from the security domain;
  • isolate, at the same, various functional domains, subsystems and TaaSy, and
  • integrate everything via explicit and machine-executable processes.

Any SHaaSoS may interact with many external (relatively to a particular smart-home system) networking actors.

Considering that many TaaSy may be added to and removed from the SHaaSoS, the later must be able to control the lifecycles of all its TaaSy. This is something likes configuration management in ITIL.

To reinforce the security, each TaaSy must follow its well-defined contracts that are executed by the SHaaSoS ( see “Digital-contract-as-a-process enables business in the digital world” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/digital-contract-as-process-enables.html ). For example, a TaaSy fridge will have several internal & external digital contracts at the same time:
  • with people who live in a particular home;
  • with a producer of this fridge;
  • with a service company for maintenance of this fridge;
  • with some online shops to order various food, and 
  • with the SHaaSoS of a particular home to achieve common goals of energy consumption, to inform about available food, etc.
The fulfilment of some of those digital contracts may require the usage of the Internet. Thus, the TaaSy fridge must be able to “demonstrate” to an in-house Internet router that the TaaSy fridge has rights to exchange data with some external digital services. Any data exchange with other digital services will be prohibited by the in-house router.

Any SHaaSoS itself follows its own digital contracts with people who live in a particular home. Please note, that any SHaaSoS is a bit “more” complex than a major-domo (or castellan, concierge, chamberlain, seneschal, mayor of the palace, maître d'hôtel, head butler and chief steward), because any SHaaSoS has its own contracts with its producer and its supporting services.

In smart home systems it is mandatory to consider the 3D geometry of any smart home because some functions are location-dependent (e.g. the same room); also some TaaSy may be mobile. Another very important factor is the time, because something must occur at a particular time, after some time, etc. The both factors, time and place must be integrated.

Potentially, each the behaviour of each final-beneficiaries must be planned, monitored and anticipated because some functions may operate differently when final-beneficiaries are in groups or individual. Imagine that each final-beneficiary has a trajectory in place x time space and those trajectories may intersect.

4 Mapping between requirements and system-forming considerations



Explicit architecting
Two primary concerns
SHaaSoS
Composition environment
TaaSy lifecycle
Digital contract
Time and place integration
Progressive automation

X
X

X


Time factor
X
X
X
X


X
Place factor
X
X
X
X


X
Easy to install

X

X
X


Reuse of functionality
X

X
X
X

X
Holistic view
X
X
X

X
X
X
Trustworthiness
X
X
X

X
X
X

5 Essential views of Reference Architecture (RA)

5.1 Systemic viewpoint


The SHaaSoS systemic groups (or subsystems) are the following:
  • TaaSy bay to connect the SHaaSoS and various TaaSy;
  • Supporting group to provide functionality shared within a digital system (e.g. logging, monitoring, data handling, collaboration, process management, decision management, analytics, etc.);
  • Primary group to provide core business functionality;
  • Coordination group to execute digital contracts between various networking actors, TaaSy and SHaaSoS itself;
  • Managerial group to reconfigure the SHaaSoS, and
  • Operational group to maintain the proper functioning of the SHaaSoS. 



5.2 Functional viewpoint


The smart-home system domain has the following functional domains: security, food & cooking, health, communication, comfort, entertainment, cleaning and maintenance.

Each of those functional domains brings its own TaaSy and usually contributes to some systemic groups.

5.3 Operational patterns viewpoint


Two followings operational patterns are mainly used by the SHaaSoS:

Observe, Orient, Decide, Act (OODA) ( see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop ). This pattern is used to detect important events to be reacted with some actions (actually, initiated processes). It is illustrated in the “Event-processing viewpoint”.

Coordination, Event Streams, Analytics, Rules (CESAR). This pattern is used after the OODA pattern because a process (initiated by the OODA) must coordinate some activities, continuously monitor the current situation, make some predictions via analytical tools, and select the best next actions in accordance to existing rules.



5.4 Event-processing viewpoint


A very good presentation of this viewpoint can be found in http://www.slideshare.net/JanThielscher/successful-iot-projects-a-few-lessons that, actually, shows the pattern OODA.


5.5 Application architecture viewpoint


Application architecture of any SHaaSoS follows the platform pattern ( see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/search/label/%23platform ).

Such a platform comprises TaaSy bay and supporting functionality as well as a layer with SHaaSoS-specific functionality.

Solutions which are built on top of this platform are from the following functional domains: operational domain, managerial domain, primary domain and coordination domain. Those solutions use common patterns, tools, services available in the platform. Preferably, those solutions are assembled from microservices ( see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/08/better-application-architecture-apparch.html ).



This architecture is optimised for flexibility (separation of functionality into units-of-deployment), diversity (each SHaaSoS is different), uniformity (to avoid reinventing the wheel) and security (explicit and machine-executable processes).

5.6 Processes (flow of control) viewpoint


Potential processes in the coordination group are the following:
  • Adding a digital contract to the repository of digital contracts
  • Validation of a digital contract
  • Execution (running) of a digital contract
  • Control (including monitoring) of a running digital contract
  • Execution of individual activities within a running digital contract
  • Suspension of a digital contract
  • Resuming of a suspended digital contract
  • Termination (cancellation) of a running digital contract
  • Archiving of a digital contract
  • Removing a digital contract from the repository of digital contracts

5.7 Services viewpoint


All functionality is available as digital services and microservices. All of them have APIs which are developed under the same guidelines (a reference to be provided).

6 Conclusion


To achieve this, data formats and APIs must be flexible enough to be able to add more and more complex TaaSy. Thus, standardization of data formats and APIs must be based on the following practices:
  • system domain ontologies,
  • reusable compact data-structures also known as micro-formats,
  • common modelling guidelines for business entities, 
  • common modelling guidelines for services, and
  • strict versioning. 


7 ANNEX Functions of home (as an example)


The article ( http://oer.nios.ac.in/wiki/index.php/Functions_of_a_Home ) provides a good list of functions of home:
  1. Protective - Home gives us protection from outside heat and cold, sun, wind, rain, etc. It also gives protection to small children and old people who need special care.
  2. Economic - Your home facilitates income generating activities like pickle or papad making or any other similar activity. Families also save money by staying together and sharing everything available. The money thus saved can be more effectively utilized elsewhere.
  3. Religious - A home provides a place for a number of religious activities. You celebrate various festivals while staying in a home.
  4. Educative - A home is the centre of family life. A child’s basic education starts from the home, which helps in the development of personality.
  5. Social - A home facilitates meeting with other people and promotes social interaction.
  6. Affectional - Home is a place where all family members stay together with love and affection.
  7. Status-giving - You enjoy a particular status in the society if you are staying in a home.

A good source of home internal activities to be potentially automated comes from roles of staff who are working for rich people. Normal people would like that, such services will be carried out by appliances or robots or B2B partners.

The best source of internal home activities is - https://www.family-tree.co.uk/news-and-views/royal-household-staff-records-now-online.

A reigning UK monarch typically had 1,000 staff in the royal household. The biggest department was the Lord Chamberlain’s department, which had on average 700 staff and was responsible for the ceremonial and social life of the Court. Traditionally, employees in this department included the ‘above stairs’ servants such as pages, craftsmen, chaplains, physicians, musicians, watermen and Yeomen of the Guard. There is also a number of fabulous occupation titles listed among the royal household staff:
  • Chocolate Maker to the Queen
  • Yeoman of the Mouth to Her Majesty Queen Mary in the Pantry
  • Necessary Woman to the Corridor and Entrance Hall
  • Keeper of the Lions in the Tower
  • Moletaker
  • Master of the Game of Cock Fighting
  • Groom of the Removing Wardrobe
  • Groom of the Stole
  • Strewer of Herbs
  • Laundress of the Body Linen

8 ANNEX Influencing factors (as an example) to be considered by the smart home system domain


Housing preferences change


The “concept of dwelling” is going to be changed as general housing preferences among customers, designers and real estate managers, including lifestyle/activity changes and spatial changes
  • internal spatial organisation
  • space saving
  • flexibility in between

Environmental trends change
  • “Energy-Saving” will increase due to home automation and energy monitoring and controlling. 
  • “Material-Saving” will increase due to the reduction in number of device.
  • “Time-Saving” will increase. 
  • “Transportation-Saving” between home and workspace or other spaces will increase so traffic flows and pollution are going to be controlled.
  • “Land-Saving” will increase and rapid extension of cities will be controlled.
Economic trends change
  • “Space saving with higher quality” is going to be increased as general economic trends

Social trends change
  • “Independently living” especially for elderly (covered by the IEC AAL SyC ) 
  • “Healthy living” – working at home
  • “A man's house is his castle” – being better protected at home
  • Higher preparedness for disasters

Technological trends changes
  • Pervasive computing
  • In-house ICT
  • IoT progress
  • Commoditisation of security equipment (video surveillance, presence detections, etc.).


Thanks,

AS



2016-12-08

Enterprise patterns: CESAR #entarch

The patterns OODA (Observe, Orient, Decide and Act) is very well know ( see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loop ). But what’s happen AFTER it? In other words, is it possible to recommend a generic behavioral pattern when an action is taken by the OODA pattern?

This blogpost proposes a Coordination, Event Streams, Analytics, Rules (CESAR) pattern. This pattern is used after the OODA pattern because a process (initiated by the OODA) must coordinate some activities, continuously monitor (from many different sources) the permanently changing situation, make some predictions via analytical tools, and select the best next actions in accordance with existing rules.

d

Thanks,
AS

2016-11-07

Thing-as-a-System reference architecture for #IoT

This article is a continuation of “Domesticate the #IoT as cyber-physical systems” article ( see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/11/domesticate-iot-as-cyber-physical.html ). It uses the systems approach to define a reference architecture for Thing-as-a-System (TaaSy) which forms the IoT.

1 Basic concepts


Networking actors are humans, digital services, digital applications and systems interacting over the Internet.

Networking human actors: owner, manager, operator or customer.

Cyber-Physical System (CPS) is a system (comprises physical and computational discrete parts) that can interact with the physical world and networking actors.

Examples of CPS include autonomous automobile systems, process control systems, robotics systems, automatic pilot avionics, data acquisition and control systems for particle detectors at CERN, etc.

CPS for IoT is an CPS which makes a Thing as a System (TaaSy)which is accessible, programmable and collaborative via digital services.

Here is clarification of mentioned above characteristics of TaaSy:
  1. Being a system, any TaaSy can carry out its essential functions without being rely on any other TaaSy(s).
  2. Any TaaSy is a networking actor.
  3. Any TaaSy provides some digital services for networking actors (as GUI for humans and as API for others).
  4. Functioning of any TaaSy can be programmed (to some extent) by authorised networking actors.
  5. Any TaaSy can collaborate with some networking actors in accordance with some digital contracts ( see “#IoT as a system of digital contracts” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/08/iot-as-system-of-digital-contracts.html ).

TaaSy physical parts: TaaSy devices, computational hardware parts, networking hardware parts.

TaaSy device types: sensor or actuator.

TaaSy cyber parts: various software parts.

TaaSy gateway: networks and connectivity adapter for various TaaSy devices which may use various networks (e.g. Bluetooth, cables, etc.). This gateway collects and homogenizes the various mechanical signals or network-based data streams into manageable data.

2 Essential views of Reference Architecture (RA)

2.1 Viable system model viewpoint

The Viable System Model (VSM) – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viable_system_model – describes principal functions and flow of data between them for viable (i.e. autonomous) systems. A viable system is composed of five interacting subsystems which may be mapped onto aspects of organizational structure.

Viable system model
By applying the VSM for TaaSy, it is reasonable to say that Systems 4 and 5 are almost absent because they are carried out by the owner and the manufacturer of the Thing. Systems 2 is about of routine coordinating various activities and System 3 is about exceptions handling and performance management. Considering the digital nature of TaaSy, Systems 2 and 3 can be combined together as well as necessary support for System 4. 

2.2 Functional domains viewpoint

TaaSy functional domains:
  • physical – the thing and all TaaSy devices;
  • device drivers to connect cyber parts with device-specific and network-specific equipment;
  • supporting to provide typical functionality of a digital system (e.g. logging, monitoring, etc.);
  • enabling to provide essential shared functionality (e.g. data handling, collaboration, process management, decision management, analytics, etc.);
  • purpose-specific to provide core business functionality,
  • IoT-specific to execute contracts between various networking actors, and
  • managerial to reconfigure the system; [look at COBIT, ITIL, IT4IT]
  • operational to maintain the proper functioning of the system. [look at ITIL, IT4IT]
Functional domains viewpoint

Standard networking (i.e. over the Internet) and commodity computing software and hardware parts are deliberately not discussed.

There are also several cross-domain functions which address typical quality requirements:
  • security (confidentiality integrity availability)
  • data and services interoperability
  • safety
  • resilience
  • privacy

2.3 Application architecture viewpoint

Application architecture of any TaaSy follows the platform pattern ( see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/search/label/%23platform ).

Such a platform comprises drivers, supporting and enabling functionality as well as a layer with TaaSy-specific functionality.

Solutions which are built on top of this platform are from the following functional domains: operational domain, managerial domain, purpose-specific domain and IoT-specific domain. Those solutions use patterns, tools, services available in the platform. Preferably, those solutions are assembled from microservices ( see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/08/better-application-architecture-apparch.html ).

Application architecture viewpoint

This architecture is optimised for flexibility (quick delivery of new functionality), diversity (each TaaSy is different), uniformity (to avoid reinventing the wheel) and security (separation of functionality into units-of-deployment).

Such a platform may be deployed at the same time in cloud-computing, local-computing and fog-computing environments. Of course, different functions will be in different environments; on the contrary, some software may be the same in all three environments.

Multi-environment usage of the platform

2.4 Processes (flow of control) viewpoint

Potential processes in operational and managerial domains are the following:
  • ITIL service design (partially)
  • ITIL service transition
  • ITIL service operations
  • ITIL CSI (partially)
  • COBIT DSS01 Manage Operations
  • COBIT DSS02 Manage Service Request and Incidents
  • COBIT DSS03 Manage Problems
  • COBIT DSS04 Manage Continuity

2.5 Services viewpoint

All functionality is available as digital services and microservices. All of them have APIs which are developed under the same guidelines.

3 TaaSy collaboration patterns in the IoT


The specific feature of IoT is the ability of TaaSy(s) to collaborate between them and other networking actors.

3.1 Point-to-Point (P2P)

The P2P collaboration pattern is about ad-hoc interactions between one networking actor and a particular TaaSy.

3.2 Majordomo

The majordomo collaboration pattern is about interactions between master (i.e. Majordomo TaaSy) and slaves (other networking actors but, primarily, TaaSy).

3.3 Digital contracts

The digital-contract collaboration pattern is about interactions between several networking actors as peer (see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/digital-contract-as-process-enables.html ).

4 Conclusion


To manage the security of IoT, it is mandatory to define explicitly individual and collective behavior of Things. This is addressed in the proposed reference architecture by intensive used of processes, internally within a Thing-as-a-System and between them as digital contracts. 

Thanks,
AS

2016-11-01

Domesticate the #IoT as cyber-physical systems

This article is a continuation of “#IoT as a system of digital contracts” article ( see http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/08/iot-as-system-of-digital-contracts.html ).

1 Introduction


The recent IoT-based DDOS attack confirmed the urgent necessity for more serious and systemic integration of the IoT into our civilisation. At present, many devices from the IoT “world” act as wild animals thus being dangerous.

Each member in our civilisation has to follow many rules & regulations & laws depending on contexts and his/her roles as citizen, husband/wife, father/mother, driver, employee, etc. Those rules and laws are wrapped as, usually, time-bound contracts. Just using a taxi is a short-time contract with its rules for a passenger and a driver.

IoT as cyber-physical systems must follow some rules & regulations & laws to become a very useful member of our civilisation. The famous example of such laws is “The three laws of robotics”.

Let us apply this practice of contract-based rules & regulations & laws to the Internet of Things – let us teach Things to follow their contracts thus domesticate Things.


To behave correctly, the IoT needs following digital contracts ( see “Digital-contract-as-a-process enables business in the digital world” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/digital-contract-as-process-enables.html ). A digital contract is an explicit and machine-executable process between several business-parties, primarily, Things, Services and People.

2 External digital contracts


For example, a future household fridge will have, as minimum, five types of external contract simultaneously:
  • with People who are living a particular household;
  • with a producer of this fridge;
  • with a service company for maintenance of this fridge;
  • with some online shops to order various food, and 
  • with some other Things within a particular household to achieve together some goals of energy consumption.
The fulfillment of some of those contracts requires the usage of the Internet. Thus, the Fridge must be able to “demonstrate” to the in-house network Router that the Fridge has rights to exchange data with some Internet-based services. Any data exchange with other internet-based services will be prohibited by the Router.

3 Internal digital contracts


In addition, being a cyber-physical system, a Thing must follow many internal contracts. Governance of all software components must be carried out as contracts for requesting a change, approval of a change, etc. Actually, all the typical IT governance and operations processes are already well-defined in COBIT, ITIL and IT4IT. They, being designed for IT departments, have to be scaled-down to the needs of Things. Even a minimalistic patch-management processes will be a huge improvement.

4 Implementation considerations


The implementation of digital contracts can be simplified by the blockchain technology (as the best, so far, records storage) which provides integrity and traceability (see “Beauty of #blockchain - doveryai, no proveryai (trust but verify)” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/10/beauty-of-blockchain-doveryai-no.html ).

All the digital contracts, separate tasks, software components, messages, documents, workflows are notarized by blockchain.

Considering that, capabilities of particular Things may be rather different, some kind of a “majordomo” Service may be necessary to execute various digital contracts; Things will be participants in their workflows.

Also, in complex households some coordination between various digital contracts must be carried out (e.g. no preventative maintenance during receptions). This is a natural job for a “majordomo” Service. Obviously, it has its own digital contracts with the People who are living a particular household.

5 Conclusion


The proposed use of digital contracts, explicit governance and blockchain can make an impression that it will increase the complexity of IoT. Fortunately, this is not correct, because although more components will be necessary, the links between them become explicit.

In accordance with the Cynefin framework (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynefin_Framework ), explicit linking allows progressing:

- from “Complex” situation (in which the relationship between cause and effect can only be perceived in retrospect, but not in advance)

- to “Complicated” situation (in which the relationship between cause and effect requires analysis or some other form of investigation and/or the application of expert knowledge).

Of course, a lot of painful standardisation and regulatory work is necessary ahead, but, in accordance with a Russian proverb “volkov boyat'sya — v les ne khodit'”, no pain no gain.

Thanks,
AS

2016-10-27

Beauty of #blockchain – ugovor dorozhe deneg (contract is more important than money)

There is a Russian proverb “Ugovor dorozhe deneg” which means “Contractual agreement is more important than money”. Breaking a contract is a huge risk (reputational, financial, etc.) that is difficult to “pay back”. Also, having business with an unknown business party may be a high risk because of anti money laundering.

The key of doing business properly is a contract that is an agreement with specific terms between two or more business parties in which there is a commitment to do something in return for a valuable benefit known as consideration ( see “Digital-contract-as-a-process enables business in the digital world at http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/digital-contract-as-process-enables.html ).

Blockchain (as the best, so far, records storage) provides integrity and traceability (see “Beauty of #blockchain - doveryai, no proveryai (trust but verify)” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/10/beauty-of-blockchain-doveryai-no.html ). This is a mandatory component of digital contracts as enablers of the safe digital economy, but not sufficient one. Let us see in a few following scenarios what is missing yet for the trustful sharing of data and documents in digital business transactions within digital contracts.

Variant 1 - P2P anonymous


As simple as giving a few coins to a poor person.


Variant 2 - P2P with zero-knowledge proof


Transaction participants may verify that their counterparts are a real and respectable person. In case of problems with a transaction, its participants can be reveal by court’s request.


Variant 3 – simple B2B


Some documents (e.g. offer, payments, certificates of digital assets, etc.) must be exchanged between participants. Thus they must be managed properly within each transaction by specialised “chains” as docs-chain and assets-chain. Their lifecycles are bounded by the relevant transaction. Actually, they are temporary secured storages that may use the blockchain for storing digital hashes of their content (see also “Electronic Health Records ( #EHR ) implementation with #blockchain, #BPM, #ECM and #platform” http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/electronic-health-records-ehr.html ).

Of course, the best contract is a digital one ( see again “Digital-contract-as-a-process enables business in the digital world at http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2016/07/digital-contract-as-process-enables.html ).



Variant 4 – B2B and partners


If the PartyB has a partner (PartnerB1) to produce PartyB’s goods then some documents from the PartnerB1 may be embedded (like a Russian doll) into the documents from the PartyB. In some cases, such documents may be anonymised.


Variant 5 – Supply Chain (SC)


As firms now rely on ecosystem partners for many of the functions once done in-house, one of their major organizational challenges is how to best manage their increasingly complex operations across a network of interconnected companies. Distributed operations can lead to increased risks, unanticipated consequences and new kinds of serious frictions. ( from http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2016/10/14/blockchains-and-the-promise-of-more-frictionless-trusted-economies/ )

To be able to run comprehensive monitoring and, potentially, some global optimisation, all the partners, all related data and all related documents must be in one secured storage of records, ideally, blockchain-based.


Conclusion

By looking at those variants, it is prudent to say that blockchain is only one of many serious issues to be addressed and architecture together to enables the digital economy. Fortunately, the current hype around blockchain is accelerating the better understanding of many things to be done together and, I hope, in well architected way.





Thanks,
AS

2016-10-19

Enterprise Patterns: EASE #entarch

This pattern “Enterprise Architecture Services Engagement (EASE)” is a continuation of the enterprise pattern ADAGIO ( http://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.ch/2015/12/enterprise-patterns-adagio-entarch.html ).


Architecture Delivery services

  1. Impact analysis (Evaluate implementability of any enterprise-wide or departmental initiative)
  2. Solution analysis and design service (Contribute strongly to solution analysis, selection, integration and evolution)
  3. Solution and Platforms life cycle assurance service (Give confidence and guaranty on implemented platforms and solutions)

Architecture Governance services


  1. Architecture vision, strategy and roadmap service (Anticipate a 2-3 years enterprise-as-system and its solutions evolution)
  2. Architecture policy and regulation service (Supply rules and regulations, to ensure sustainability and global coherency)
  3. Architecture validation service (Ensure enterprise-as-a-system compliance to rules and regulations)

Innovation & Optimisation services


  1. Technology watch service (Follow existing and new technologies important for the enterprise)
  2. Technology-enable improvements service (Propose and prototype how the enterprise can benefit from the technology progress)
  3. Internal consulting service (Engage with anyone from the enterprise to apply the EA knowledge to improve operations)

Maintenance services


Architectures are the primary artefacts of EA functioning thus require explicit maintenance.
  1. Architecture repository maintenance service (Capitalise knowledge for impact analysis and coherency management)
  2. Business architecture maintenance service (Give a common understanding of the organisation and its processes)
  3. Application architecture maintenance service (Provide the means to influence design decisions and/or to use proven solutions)
  4. Data/Information/Content architecture maintenance service (Provide models and conditions to manage collected, stored and transformed data)
  5. Security layer maintenance service (Ensure cross-coherency with others layers)
  6. Infrastructure layer maintenance service (Ensure cross-coherency with others layer)

Thanks,
AS

2016-10-07

Beauty of #blockchain - doveryai, no proveryai (trust but verify) for voting at the digital age

The aim of this document is to provide a big picture of voting with the use of various modern technologies, primarily #blockchain. This technology is ideal to implement the “doveryai, no proveryai” (trust but verify) principle to achieve the trust.

1 Basic concepts


Each vote sheet has its unique ID which has its address in the Voting BlockChain (VBC) as VBC-ref1, which also encoded as QR-code-1.

2 Remote voting through the Internet


A Registered Voter (RV) receives a Voting Sheet (VS) via a secured channel or in a secured envelope.

The RV using a Server-Less App (SLA) in his/her internet browser.

RV: 
  • Opens the VS
  • Fills it
  • Hits the button “FILLED”
SLA: 
  • Uploads the VS and some metadata into the VBC at VBC-ref1
  • Asks the VC to verify the voting results at VBC-ref1
RV: 
  • Scans QR-code1 (e.g. mobile) to see the voting results at VBC-ref1 (optional)
  • Hits “OK” (and may save VBC-ref1)
SLA: 
  • Starts a smart-contract to release VBC-ref1 to the voting authorities AFTER the ballot period is over
RV: 
  • Closes the SLA

Voilà!

3 Physical presence voting

Still a secret.


Thanks,
AS