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Subject: Re: [soa-rm-ra] The multiple overlapping senses of joint action.


"Seeing the two side-by-side" hasn't turned on any architectural light  
bulbs for me.

We said we will communicate through messages.  I send a message to a  
service because the service has identified an action or set of actions  
(without defining the details) that it will perform to realize  
described real world effects.  I want the real world effects, so I  
send the message.

Trust (which I brought in, not you) has to do with whether I think  
your action(s) will lead to the desired RWE; risk is whether I expect  
undesired RWE.  Willingness depends on how these balance.

End of discussion.

Seems straightforward enough to me and I think covers all the bases we  
need to cover.

Danny - I didn't mean interaction will cover all the details raised  
with joint action, only that it would cover enough.

What is not covered that needs to be so?


On Jul 21, 2009, at 12:35 PM, Francis McCabe wrote:

> Ken
>  I was NOT addressing trust in the write up on joint action.
>  I think that there are genuinely two different notions of action:
> the action that individual actors perform (including cutting down
> trees) and the actions that they perform severally.
>  I think that getting clarity about the relationship between
> communicative actions and service actions is extremely beneficial.
> Seeing the two side-by-side as it were solves an important
> architectural problem. I admit that I fail to see why you cannot see
> that.
>  Remember that the purpose of interacting with services is to get
> things done. But, as anyone who attends a lot of meetings will
> understand, talking about solving problems is not the same thing as
> actually solving them.
> Frank
> On Jul 21, 2009, at 6:28 AM, Laskey, Ken wrote:
>> Frank,
>> Two points here: one for a clarification and the other still
>> questioning the necessity of the elaboration.
>> First, if I cut down a tree, is there a joint action?  There is
>> certainly a real world effect.
>> I use this as my "action" scenario in order to avoid messages.
>> Message exchange seems to always require joint action -- the speaker
>> and the listener -- for anything to get done.  The message exchange
>> is by construction a joint action, and all the other levels of
>> intent you mention often get masked.
>> The concept of an action meant for different purposes is critical
>> for trust because the question comes down to whether the individual
>> intent of the parties will likely lead to acceptable RWEs, even if
>> the intents are somewhat different.
>> This leads me to the second point: what of all this is required to
>> tell the story for the RA?  Interaction is made up of joint actions,
>> but when is it not sufficient to talk about interaction?  We seem to
>> do quite well in section 4, although it will take a bit of effort to
>> reconstruct what Jeff and I decided when we first had the action to
>> tackle this.  As for trust, the initial write-up I did seemed to
>> capture more than some folks felt necessary, and it made no mention
>> of joint action.
>> One of our principles is parsimony.  I understand, although I still
>> have a few questions on, your elaboration of joint action.  The
>> question is whether this is the most parsimonious way to tell the
>> story.  Of more concern, will anyone not part of our discussion
>> understand it?
>> Ken
>> ________________________________________
>> From: Francis McCabe [fmccabe@gmail.com]
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:33 AM
>> To: soa-rm-ra@lists.oasis-open.org RA
>> Subject: [soa-rm-ra] The multiple overlapping senses of joint action.
>> A joint action is a coordinated set of actions involving the efforts
>> of two or more actors to achieve an effect
>> In any social context joint actions abound: people talking to each
>> other, people buying and selling, people arranging their lives. In
>> addition, joint action is at the heart of interactions within the
>> context of a SOA ecosystem.
>> There is another sense in which joint actions abound: even within a
>> single incident of interaction there are typically several  
>> overlapping
>> joint actions.
>> For example, when one person says to another: "it is stuffy in here"
>> there is an immediate sense in which there is a joint action -- a
>> joint communicative action. The intended effect being that the
>> listener believes that the speaker intends him to understand that the
>> speaker believes that the atmosphere is uncomfortable. (The listener
>> may also believe that the atmosphere *is* uncomfortable as a result  
>> of
>> the communication.)
>> However, in the right context, there may be another joint action: the
>> apparent declaration may in fact be a command.  The intent being that
>> the speaker wishes the listener to understand that the door should be
>> opened.
>> There may be a further layer to this scenario: the speaker might be
>> aware that there is someone who is waiting to be let in. The command
>> to open the door is actually a command to admit the visitor to the
>> room.
>> Fundamentally all three of these senses of joint action are
>> superimposed on top of each other. However, there is a strong sense  
>> in
>> which the different joint actions may be quite interchangeable. For
>> example, instead of declaring that the "room is stuffy", the speaker
>> might have simply said "open the door". Or the speaker might have  
>> said
>> "please let John in". In each case the effect would have been the  
>> same
>> -- modulo the sensitivities of the speaker and listener -- the door
>> being open and the visitor admitted to the room.
>> The relationship between the communicative joint action: the  
>> utterance
>> of the declaration and the command joint action is a `uses'
>> relationship. The speaking joint action is used to convey the command
>> joint action; which in turn is used to convey the visitor admittance
>> action.
>> In many situations the best predicate that describes the relationship
>> between these different joint actions is the 'counts as' predicate.
>> The utterance action counts as the command to open the door. The
>> command to open the door counts as the request to admit the visitor.
>> It can be extremely useful to identify and separate the different
>> overlapping senses of joint action. It allows us to separately
>> describe and process the communicative actions from the command joint
>> actions. This, in turn, reflects the fact that each layer has its own
>> logic and ontology.
>> For example, at the utterance level, the issues are to do with the
>> successful understanding of the content of the communication -- did
>> the listener hear and understand the words, did the speaker intend to
>> say them, and so on.
>> At the level of the command to open the door, the issues center on
>> whether there is a predisposition on the part of the listener to obey
>> commands given to him by the speaker.
>> In the context of a SOA ecosystem we can separately capture the logic
>> and mechanics of what is involved in electronic communication -- the
>> sending of messages, the security of the communication and so on;  
>> from
>> the logic and mechanics of command -- does the listener believe that
>> the speaker has the appropriate authority to issue the command.
>> As with human communication, electronic interactions are similarly
>> interchangeable: the commitment to purchase a book requires some form
>> of communication between buyer and seller; but the purchase action
>> itself is unchanged by the use of email or an HTTP post of an XML
>> document.
>> In summary, the concept of joint action allows us to honor the fact
>> that both parties in an interaction are required for there to be an
>> actual effect; it allows us to separate out the different levels of
>> the interaction into appropriate semantic layers; and it allows us to
>> recombine those layers in potentially different ways whilst still
>> achieving the intended real world effects of action in a SOA
>> ecosystem.
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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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