Addressing the contract issue, standardisation for QoS

Higher level service support mechanisms are an integral part of the future vision for Web / Grid Services. This paper argues that the areas of discovery, differentiation, negotiation, monitoring and non-repudiation of agreements cannot be considered in isolation to each other. The areas outlined above are examined, primarily from a trust perspective, focusing on the use of contracts to guarantee QoS attributes. The paper explores the need for greater standardisation in the area, to specify semantics more clearly; in doing so we outline the progress of our own QoSOnt QoS attribute specification ontology. The paper goes on to briefly discuss two tools; firstly, SQRM, designed to allow service discovery, querying and requirement specification utilising the QoSOnt ontology; and secondly, TRANSACT, an existing contract negotiation tool designed to provide end-to-end contracting, encompassing an automated negotiation engine.