Service-oriented model-encapsulation strategy for sharing and integrating heterogeneous geo-analysis models in an open web environment


Journal: 《Isprs Journal of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing》 , 2016 , 114 :258-273

Cite as: Yue S, Chen M, Wen Y, Lu G. Service-oriented model-encapsulation strategy for sharing and integrating heterogeneous geo-analysis models in an open web environment. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 2016, 114, 258-273.

Abstract: Earth environment is extremely complicated and constantly changing; thus, it is widely accepted that the use of a single geo-analysis model cannot accurately represent all details when solving complex geo-problems. Over several years of research, numerous geo-analysis models have been developed. However, a collaborative barrier between model providers and model users still exists. The development of cloud computing has provided a new and promising approach for sharing and integrating geo-analysis models across an open web environment. To share and integrate these heterogeneous models, encapsulation studies should be conducted that are aimed at shielding original execution differences to create services which can be reused in the web environment. Although some model service standards (such as Web Processing Service (WPS) and Geo Processing Workflow (GPW)) have been designed and developed to help researchers construct model services, various problems regarding model encapsulation remain. (1) The descriptions of geo-analysis models are complicated and typically require rich-text descriptions and case-study illustrations, which are difficult to fully represent within a single web request (such as theGetCapabilitiesandDescribeProcessoperations in the WPS standard). (2) Although Web Service technologies can be used to publish model services, model users who want to use a geo-analysis model and copy the model service into another computer still encounter problems (e.g., they cannot access the model deployment dependencies information). This study presents a strategy for encapsulating geo-analysis models to reduce problems encountered when sharing models between model providers and model users and supports the tasks with different web service standards (e.g., the WPS standard). A description method for heterogeneous geo-analysis models is studied. Based on the model description information, the methods for encapsulating the model-execution program to model services and for describing model-service deployment information are also included in the proposed strategy. Hence, the model-description interface, model-execution interface and model-deployment interface are studied to help model providers and model users more easily share, reuse and integrate geo-analysis models in an open web environment. Finally, a prototype system is established, and the WPS standard is employed as an example to verify the capability and practicability of the model-encapsulation strategy. The results show that it is more convenient for modellers to share and integrate heterogeneous geo-analysis models in cloud computing platforms.