My RAS Project TRICS: A Trusted Reservation Infrastructure for Computational Societies has been funded (grant L.R.7/2007 CRP-17285).
The goal of this project is to model and develop a trustworthy reservation infrastructure. We are looking for a generic infrastructure, which can be specialized to a wide variety of contexts of reservations: flights, hotels, museums, car pooling, medical examinations, etc.
A key aspect of the project is that the interaction between clients and services should be guided by contracts, which allow clients and services to agree on the required and offered features. Contracts might have, for example, sanctions for the modification or the cancellation of reservations, within agreed time limits. Contracts would be formal entities that would allow, on one side, to establish exactly and without uncertainty the obligations and rights of providers and clients and, on the other side, to formally verify whether or not services respect the advertised contracts. Furthermore, contracts will allow the client to compare different providers of the same service and to choose the most suitable for their desires.
The formal specification of contracts is a main research challenge, since one needs a comprehensive theoretical framework, capable of dealing with all the aspects (deadlines, reputation, sanctions, etc.) needed for modelling all the scenarios of interest.
A further goal of this project is the integration of the reservation infrastructure with social networks. In particular, we aim at developing search and recommendation algorithms to single out the services more suitable to the user needs. Such algorithms will be based both on single user profiling, and on the study of the relation with other users in the community.