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Ontology engineering has been proposed as a formal mechanism for both reducing the complexity of managing the information needed in network management and autonomic systems and for increase the portability of the services across homogeneous and heterogeneous networks. In this paper we propose an ontology for supporting the creation, delivery and management of context-aware services and also for the integration of the user's context information in service management operations for heterogeneous networks. This ontology provides formal semantics that capture concepts of context information for helping in the service management operations and also augments the information model for adding domain-specific user's context data. Using this ontology, we have created a "knowledge plane" that supports the reasoning needed by autonomic networks. We have studied the use of ontology autonomic elements for gathering raw context and integrating it to improve and/or enhance the user's context representation. Finally, we provide a study and analysis for ensuring the efficient handling and dissemination of context information to overlay applications in autonomic environments for self-managing or self-configuring service operations.
Date of Conference: 24-28 June 2007