Knowledge representation concepts for automated SLA management

Adrian Paschke, Martin Bichler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Outsourcing of complex IT infrastructure to IT service providers has increased substantially during the past years. IT service providers must be able to fulfil their service-quality commitments based upon predefined Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the service customer. They need to manage, execute and maintain thousands of SLAs for different customers and different types of services, which needs new levels of flexibility and automation not available with the current technology. The complexity of contractual logic in SLAs requires new forms of knowledge representation to automatically draw inferences and execute contractual agreemen ts. A logic-based approach provides several advantages including automated rule chaining allowing for compact knowledge representation as well as flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing business requirements. We suggest logical formalisms for the representation and enforcement of SLA rules and describe a proof-of-concept implementation. The article describes selected formalisms of the ContractLog KR and their adequacy for automated SLA management and presents results of experiments and examples from common industry use cases to demonstrate the expressiveness of the language and the scalability of the approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-205
Number of pages19
JournalDecision Support Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • Business rules
  • Logic Programming (LP)
  • Policy management
  • Rule-based Knowledge Representation (KR)
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA)
  • Service Level Management (SLM)


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