ConSolid: a Federated Ecosystem for Heterogeneous Multi-Stakeholder Projects

Tracking #: 3248-4462

This paper is currently under review
Jeroen Werbrouck
Pieter Pauwels
Jakob Beetz1
Erik Mannens

Responsible editor: 
Guest Editors SW for Industrial Engineering 2022

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Full Paper
In many industries, multiple parties collaborate on a larger project. At the same time, each of those stakeholders participates in multiple independent projects simultaneously. A double patchwork can thus be identified, with a many-to-many relationship between actors and collaborative projects. One key example is the construction industry, where every project is unique, involving specialists for every subdomain, ranging from the architectural design over technical installations to geospatial information, governmental regulation and sometimes even historical research. A digital representation of this process and its outcomes requires semantic interoperability between these subdomains, which however often work with heterogeneous and unstructured data. In this paper we propose to address this double patchwork via a decentral ecosystem for multi-stakeholder, multi-industry collaborations dealing with heterogeneous information snippets. At its core, this ecosystem, called ConSolid, builds upon the Solid specifications for Web decentralisation, but extends these both on a (meta)data pattern level and on microservice level. To increase the robustness of data allocation and filtering, we identify the need to go beyond Solid's current LDP-based interfaces to a Solid Pod and hence introduce the concept of metadata-generated `virtual views', to be generated using a SPARQL interface to a Pod. Building on top of these generic interfaces, domain-specific (higher-level) interfaces can be set up. A recursive, scalable way to discover multi-Pod aggregations is proposed, along with data patterns for connecting and aligning heterogeneous (RDF and non-RDF) resources across Pods in a mediatype-agnostic fashion. We demonstrate the use and benefits of the ecosystem using minimal running examples, concluding with the setup of an example use case from the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry.
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