Interaction Affordances are central to the W3C Web of Things (WoT): they allow Consumers to identify and use the capabilities provided by Web Things. Ideally, interaction affordances would allow consumers to arrive-and-operate in any W3C WoT environment: given an entry URI, consumers would be able to achieve their tasks in an autonomous manner by navigating the hypermedia and deciding among the various options presented to them at run time. A central challenge then, which is not typically within the scope of Web engineering, is how to design, program, debug, monitor, and regulate such autonomous consumers of Web Things. The engineering of similar autonomous systems has been studied to a large extent in research on multi-agent systems (MAS), and we believe that tapping into the large body of MAS research holds great promise for unlocking the full potential of the W3C WoT. In this position paper, we motivate and present our vision for autonomous systems in the WoT, and support this vision with a prototype for industrial manufacturing. We then discuss some of the challenges and opportunities raised by bringing autonomy to the WoT.
Andrei Ciortea, Simon Mayer, Olivier Boissier, Fabien Gandon
3 Jul 2019