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Subject: Re: [soa-rm-ra] reaching closure on Action


After we sort it out, we'll decide what we need to say.  But we have to be clear because there will always be someone in our audience who will pick apart the inconsistencies, and it helps to understand more than we feel appropriate to write.

I don't remember where it was in the RM but I do remember a discussion on one portion where we cut out most of the detailed explanation because, while more precise, we would lose the reader.


On Jun 10, 2008, at 9:53 AM, Rex Brooks wrote:

While I think the exercise of teasing apart these processes is useful for us, I am concerned that we're overcomplicating the concepts for our readers. Perhaps we should put this kind of discussion into collateral documents. When I put myself into the role of a reader from a gov agency that has been somewhat unwillingly mandated to develop a SOA plan as part of the FEA, and I try to read and understand this without the benefit of the theories that underpin our discussions here, I come up empty.

I think that we're on the edge of building blueprints for masters of smoke and mirrors to sell any number of conceptually shaky programs under cover of conformance with our spec and counting on the fact that no one is going to make the effort to wade through these concepts and call their bluffs.

So, after we reach a consensus on this particular elaboration of Action, I suggest we simplify the explanation and put the abstruse stuff aside for those with an interest in the more elaborated model.


At 6:03 AM -0700 6/10/08, Francis McCabe wrote:
I mis-stated something last night:

2. As far as a speaker providing intent without a listener that is true. But the CA is not *effective* without a listener.

This is true; but on reflection, it is beside the point.

The critical point is that there can be no act of communication -- no application of intent -- unless there is both a listener and speaker. So, if I talk to an empty room, I am talking but not communicating.

On the other hand, even when we are communicating, it does not mean that it is successful communication: I can listen to you, and still fail to understand/act what you are saying.


On Jun 9, 2008, at 7:43 PM, Laskey, Ken wrote:

I agree that the speaker and listener are actively involved in communication.  Our question is what is their involvement.  When does listening include the activities that the speaker wishes to follow from not only the listening but hearing and understanding.

In the Action Model, the service identifies the messages it understands when it is a listener.  It does not guarantee it will do anything for any other messages.  It does not need a speaker present to still understand those messages.

So the disconnects are:
1. There seems to need more than a speaker and a listener to have a useful service interaction, i.e. the listener has to commit to initiated activity.  Our discussion doesn't include that.
2. The speaker can apply intent without the listener receiving the message or responding.  There is action on the part of the speaker but no interaction.
3. Action, or at least potential action, exists on the part of the listener without any speaker.  There is potential for interaction, there are prescribed steps in interaction, but there is no interaction until until there is a speaker, an exchange of information, and an understanding of that exchange.


P.S. We've been offlist for a while.

-----Original Message-----
From: Francis McCabe [mailto:frankmccabe@mac.com]
Sent: Mon 6/9/2008 9:55 PM
To: Laskey, Ken
Subject: Re: [soa-rm-ra] reaching closure on Action

  There is a book that I recommend that you read. It is called "Using
Language" by Herbert Clark. It is pretty informal but gives an
excellent account of the concepts involved in human communication, and
by extension computer communication.

  Essentially, the bottom line is that both speaker and listener are
actively involved, and that the communication has not happened without
both participating. And he also addresses (not in the same language)
the counts-as relationship.

  As for denial of service, etc., I agree that willingness is an
essential part of what is going on. hence the active role of both


On Jun 9, 2008, at 6:08 PM, Laskey, Ken wrote:


 In email , I'll buy that the speaker creates and sends the message,
 > but the listener only becomes aware that the message exists.  The
 speaker assumes whatever is listening will initiate the activity of
 opening and reading.  As with a denial of service attack where it is
 appropriate to withhold/withdraw willingness, whatever has the
 listener may not process the email if they suspect embedded malware.


 -----Original Message-----
 From: Francis McCabe [mailto:frankmccabe@mac.com]
 Sent: Mon 6/9/2008 7:54 PM
 To: Laskey, Ken
 Subject: Re: [soa-rm-ra] reaching closure on Action

 No, this does not get the join action aspect.

 I admit that I thought some about the Patient in a CA. I believe that
 the Patient in a CA is the medium of communication. We jointly act on
 the email medium when we communicate by email. It is a little tricky
 because there is some danger of infinite regress:

 I act on an email to compose it and to push it into the Internet. You
 act on the email to open it and read it. But these actions are the
 actions of Speaking and Listening respectively. The Joint CA is the
 combination of the two. In that world, we are using the Internet
 (actually SMTP) as a means of communicating and we act on it by
 sending and receiving messages (the messages become the Instruments of
 our CAs).

 On Jun 9, 2008, at 3:59 PM, Ken Laskey wrote:

 > Wouldn't
 > CA -> Agent -> Speaker=Initiator
 > CA -> Instrument -> Message[Do ServiceActionPerformative]
 > CA -> Patient -> Listener=Service
 > CA -> Verb -> CA_Performative
 > where I assume CA_Performative is pass message.  I can't see having
 > two Agents and no Patient.
 > For a ServiceAction SA, we get
 > SA -> Agent -> Initiator
 > SA -> Instrument -> CA
 > SA -> Patient -> Service
 > SA -> Verb -> ServiceActionPerformative
 > Is ServiceActionPerformative what I have called Initiating Activity?
 > Ken
 > On Jun 9, 2008, at 6:48 PM, Francis McCabe wrote:
 >> There is nothing about intent that denies join intent. A joint
 >> action necessarily implies joint intent -- both speak and listener
 >> intend that there be a communication.
 >> And yes, the communicative action involves *both* the sender and
 >> the receiver.
 >> And no, the service action is *not* singular: it is the actor
 >> acting on the acted.
 >> If we expand the ontology of action a little bit:
 >> Action -> Agent
 >> Action -> Instrument
 >> Action -> Patient
 >> Action -> Verb
 >> where Agent is the entity performing the action, Instrument is the
 >> tool with which the action is performed, Patient is the target of
 >> the action and Verb is the action being performed.
 >> Then, for a CA, we get
 >> CA -> Agent -> [Speaker=Initiator, Listener=Service]
 >> CA -> Instrument -> Message[Do ServiceActionPerformative]
 >> CA -> Patient -> None
 >> CA -> Verb -> CA_Performative
 >> For a ServiceAction SA, we get
 >> SA -> Agent -> Initiator
 >> SA -> Instrument -> CA
 >> SA -> Patient -> Service
 >> SA -> Verb -> ServiceActionPerformative
 >> The counts-as relation has to map the two actions, probably as here
 >> by linking the Instrument of the CA to different parts of the SA,
 >> as well as some implied linking between Listener/Service etc..
 >> This is probably a whole lot more detailed than we should go into
 >> in the spec; but if *we* need to to convince ourselves, so be it :)
 >> Frank
 >> On Jun 9, 2008, at 2:24 PM, Ken Laskey wrote:
 >>> I still have the question of whether Action as the application of
 >>> intent requires a receipt of that intent.  This is back to the
 >>> singular vs. communicative nature of the Action.
 >>> If the message is the Action, then the Action has to be both the
 >>> sending AND receiving of the message in order for it to be a
 >>> communicative action.  Intent sounds like one way; it is my
 >>> motivation and the action is my acting on that motivation, but
 >>> that is all separate from the receiver.
 >>> The Service Action, OTOH, is singular on the side of the service/
 > >>> receiver.  The service Action Model delineates what messages need
 >>> to be sent in order for certain "activities" to be carried out,
 >>> leading to certain RWE.  The Action Model exists independent of a
 >>> speaker.
 >>> The Communicative Action CANNOT count-as the Service Action
 >>> because one requires a speaker and the other does not.
 >>> Ken
 >>> On Jun 9, 2008, at 1:13 PM, Francis McCabe wrote:
 >>>> I believe that there are 4 'concepts' of action involved:
 >>>> 1. The abstract sense of Action. Application of intent etc.
 >>>> 2. Abstract Joint Action (which is either a subclass of Action or
 >>>> a particular use of Action; not sure of the right relationship).
 >>>> 3. Communicative Action (which is a subclass of Abstract Joint
 >>>> Action)
 >>>> 4. Service Action which is an Action against a Service (which is
 >>>> described in the Action Model and the Process Model)
 >>>> 3. and 4. are connected via the counts-as relationship:
 >>>> A valid Communicative Action counts as a Service Action
 >>>> At some level, all of these should be introduced and explained in
 >>>> Section 3.
 >>>> Frank
 >>>> On Jun 6, 2008, at 12:02 PM, Ken Laskey wrote:
 >>>>> Dear Fellow Explorers,
 >>>>> We've had some very stimulating discussions over the past few
 >>>>> weeks but I feel there are other things caught in limbo until we
 >>>>> reach some consensus.  I don't think we are plagued by major
 >>>>> disagreements but rather the different facets of complexity for
 >>>>> the range of things we want to capture and make understandable
 >>>>> to a wider audience.
 >>>>> So I think we need a plan for how to proceed.  The elements of
 >>>>> such a plan would cover
 >>>>> 1. capturing the different facets;
 >>>>> 2. capturing where in the document these facets currently live;
 >>>>> 3. work a consistent understanding that covers all the facets.
 >>>>> Unfortunately, this is not an 80-20 situation because a standard
 >>>>> that only covers 80% of the scope is looking for trouble.
 >>>>> Now I would suggest an extended call (all day?) but I realize we
 >>>>> are all busy and that may not be feasible.  What's more is it
 >>>>> may not be productive unless we have all the background material
 >>>>> together going in.
 >>>>> As a precursor to an extended meeting (or even a regular
 >>>>> meeting), is it possible for us to have a short list of
 >>>>> questions and for the author of each section to satisfy items 1
 >>>>> and 2 above through the answers?  Would that be enough to help
 >>>>> structure a productive (and hopefully not too long) call?
 >>>>> I haven't yet considered the questions, but figured I'd float
 >>>>> the idea and see if someone came up with something better.
 >>>>> Ken
 >>>>> Ken Laskey
 >>>>> MITRE Corporation, M/S H305     phone:  703-983-7934
 >>>>> 7515 Colshire Drive                        fax:
 >>>>> 703-983-1379
 >>>>> McLean VA 22102-7508
 >>> Ken Laskey
 >>> MITRE Corporation, M/S H305     phone:  703-983-7934
 >>> 7515 Colshire Drive                        fax:
 >>> McLean VA 22102-7508
 > Ken Laskey
 > MITRE Corporation, M/S H305     phone:  703-983-7934
 > 7515 Colshire Drive                        fax:        
 > McLean VA 22102-7508

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Rex Brooks
President, CEO
Starbourne Communications Design
GeoAddress: 1361-A Addison
Berkeley, CA 94702
Tel: 510-898-0670


Ken Laskey

MITRE Corporation, M/S H305     phone:  703-983-7934

7515 Colshire Drive                        fax:        703-983-1379

McLean VA 22102-7508

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