HEADS - Heterogeneous and Distributed Services for the Future Computing Continuum





What user need or pain point is your project addressing?

The goal is to empower the software and services industry to better take advantage of the opportunities of the future computing continuum and to effectively provide new innovative services that are seamlessly integrated to the physical world making them more pervasive, more robust, more reactive and closer (physically, socially, emotionally, etc.) to their users.

We denote such services HD-services. HD-services (Heterogeneous and Distributed services) characterize the class of services or applications within the Future Internet whose logic and value emerges from a set of communicating software components distributed on a heterogeneous computing continuum from clouds to mobile devices, sensors and/or smart-objects.

The main objective of the HEAD project is to enable efficient exploitation of the broad diversity of the future computing continuum for rapid service innovation of advanced services, by providing service developers with new agile tool supported software engineering methods enabling short innovation cycles.


Project's major results: 

The HEADS project leverages Model-Driven Software Engineering and generative programming techniques to provide a new integrated software engineering approach which enables the advanced exploitation of the full range of diversity and specificity of the future computing continuum. The main result is an open-source Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that will include a Domain Specific Modeling Language and a methodology for the specification, validation, deployment and evolution of services distributed across the continuum.


Target stakeholders: 

Start-ups & microfirms, Small & medium enterprises, Open Source developers, Large companies, Technology providers, Research institutions, Other. 



Project Start: 
01/10/2013
Project End: 
30/09/2016


How will your solution/service benefit the end-user?

This HEADS integrated development environment (IDE) enables the efficient documentation and formalization of the knowledge of platform experts (e.g., cloud expert mastering advanced frameworks, or embedded system developers able to optimize memory or power consumption on resource-constrained platforms) into reusable forms. The capabilities and peculiarities of each platform should be well-documented and should be leveraged at their maximum instead of being "harmonized" according to their least common features denominator.

The HEADS IDE provides service developers with new abstractions to cost effectively design, validate, deploy and evolve HD-services for the future computing continuum. These abstractions should provide service developers with an explicit access to the diversity of the platforms of the continuum while relieving them from their technical implementation details. This way, developers can focus on the logic of their services and should be guided by a methodology and an IDE to distribute this logic in a way that takes advantage of the whole continuum.


Potential exploitation strategy: 
The main exploitation strategy of HEADS is to release the IDE as open-source as to maximize the potential uptake. The plan is to get main components of the IDE accepted as open source products in an existing and popular open source community. We are in an application process right now and the current feedback is positive. Moreover, the HEADS IDE is extensible by a plugin mechanism and a framework to add support for additional platforms. Thus, HEADS will make HD-Service development affordable and accessible to a wide range of industry domains. The project exploitation strategy is to especially targets SMEs which typically do not have in-house knowledge of all the target platforms they would like to exploit within the future computing continuum. It also targets sectors for which a rapid innovation and release cycle is the key. Furthermore, the strategy include specific individual exploitations from partner. Some partner in the consortium already have made specific exploitations based on HEADS result, in particular one partner has applied for patenting a specific HEADS result.

Vertical Market: 

Digital health, Smart cities, Energy, Engineering & manufacturing, Media, Finance & insurance, Other.