SORASCS: A Case Study in SOA-based Platform Design for Socio-Cultural Analysis

Bradley Schmerl, David Garlan, Vishal Dwivedi, Michael Bigrigg, and Kathleen M. Carley
Carnegie Mellon University, USA

An increasingly important class of software-based systems is platforms that permit integration of third-party components, services, and tools. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is one such plat-form that has been successful in providing integration and distri-bution in the business domain, and could be effective in other domains (e.g., scientific computing, healthcare, and complex deci-sion making). In this paper, we discuss our application of SOA to provide an integration platform for socio-cultural analysis, a domain that, through models, tries to understand, analyze and predict relationships in large complex social systems. In developing this platform, called SORASCS, we had to overcome issues we believe are generally applicable to any application of SOA within a domain that involves technically naïve users and seeks to establish a sustainable software ecosystem based on a common integration platform. We discuss those issues and the lessons learned about the kinds of problems that occur, and pathways toward a solution.