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A chemical-based mechanism for workflow instantiation in Service-Based Applications

by Pierluigi Plebani last modified Jan 11, 2012 10:18

Contact person

Maurizio Giordano,, CNR


A nature-inspired mechanism to map activities composing a workflow to actual service implementation is proposed. The mapping is modelled as an evolving and always running chemical-based process that “reacts” to changes in service provisioning. Chemical computing has emerged as an unconventional programming model where a program is described in terms of local interactions (chemical reactions) among molecules floating in a chemical solution.
The result of a program is represented by the molecules present in the chemical solution when it reaches an inert
state, i.e. when no element in the solution can trigger any reactions. These characteristics allow to equip Service Based Applications with evolutionary and adaptive features that are well-suited to represent and implement autonomous behaviour. In particular, the proposed mechanism allows to model changes in service provisioning regarding both service availability and service non-functional properties (QoS features), as system perturbations that can be processed at any time, and by incrementally affecting the execution state of the system.

In order to implement and test the proposed mechanism, a chemical programming environment has been developed named Gamma-Scheme. It is a hybrid programming environment for chemical computing merging conventional programming techniques (Scheme) with an unconventional programming model (chemical computing), plus libraries, tools, and advanced programming constructs (Racket Scheme).

Technical Information

Gamma-Scheme: a HOCL implementation in Racket Scheme (


No demo available


Di Napoli C., Giordano M., Németh Z., Tonellotto N.
Adaptive instantiation of service workflows using a chemical approach
in Proc. of CoreGRID/ERCIM Workshop on Grids, Clouds and P2P Computing (Euro-Par 2010 Parallel Processing Workshops), LNCS 6586,  pp. 247-255, Spinger (2011).

Di Napoli C., Giordano M., Pazat J-L., Wang C.
A Chemical Based Middleware for Workflow Instantiation and Execution
in “Towards a Service-Based Internet”, LNCS 6481 (2010), Springer, pp. 100-111.

3rd year review presentation:
C. Di Napoli
A chemical-inspired approach to model service instantiation in Service Based Application


Self-Adaptation, Adaptation of Service Compositions, Self-Organising Systems

Maturity Level


Relationship with Future Internet and Internet of Services

In the context of Future Internet, Service Based Applications should be regarded as volatile compositions of a
number of possibly independent and autonomous services (i.e. software programs or interfaces to humans) connected through the network and performing a set of functionalities whose integration should fulfil the requirement of the SBA end-user taking into account the .
It therefore becomes necessary to organize compositions of services on demand in response to dynamic requirements and changes in service availability and/or service non-functional characteristics.
At this end, the chemical-based mechanism provides adaptability to these changes by approaching the composition of services as a decentralized and incremental aggregation mechanism governed by local rules such that environmental changes affecting any part of SBA may be processed at any time.

Relationship with Cloud

The decentralized chemical-inspired mechanism could be used as a qos-based selection mechanism for Cloud resources in the context of IaaS

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