Web-Based Configuration of Virtual Private Networks with Multiple Suppliers
An Internet-based Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN) uses the open, distributed infrastructure of the Internet to transmit data between corporate sites. The configuration (network design) for a specific customer network typically requires the selection of network access lines and backbone sections that are provisioned by different organizations in a supply chain. Moreover, when configuring such a network, the given customer requirements (e.g., minimal bandwidth) have to be observed. Within this paper, we show how the (sales-) configuration process for these networks is supported within a framework for distributed configuration. Beside the implementation of an adequate distributed problem solving mechanism based on Constraint Satisfaction with commercial tools, we address the problem of supplier selection and knowledge integration in a Web-based environment for eCommerce: Based on common ontological commitments on representation concepts for the configuration domain, the suppliers can advertise their products and services, whereby the distributed problem solving process involves locating and executing the supplier’s configuration service using an open XML-based protocol. We present the architecture of the implemented prototype framework and show the relation of our work to emerging approaches in the fields of Distributed Problem Solving and Semantic Web Services.
KeywordsSupply Chain Predicate Symbol Configuration Process Virtual Private Network Domain Description
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