SelCSP: A Framework to Facilitate Selection of Cloud Service Providers

  • September 22, 2015
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SelCSP: A Framework to Facilitate Selection of Cloud Service Providers


With rapid technological advancements, cloud marketplace witnessed frequent emergence of new service providers with similar offerings. However, service level agreements (SLAs), which document guaranteed quality of service levels, have not been found to be consistent among providers, even though they offer services with similar functionality. In service outsourcing environments, like cloud, the quality of service levels are of prime importance to customers, as they use third-party cloud services to store and process their clients’ data. If loss of data occurs due to an outage, the customer’s business gets affected. Therefore, the major challenge for a customer is to select an appropriate service provider to ensure guaranteed service quality. To support customers in reliably identifying ideal service provider, this work proposes a framework, SelCSP, which combines trustworthiness and competence to estimate risk of interaction. Trustworthiness is computed from personal experiences gained through direct interactions or from feedbacks related to reputations of vendors. Competence is assessed based on transparency in provider’s SLA guarantees. A case study has been presented to demonstrate the application of our approach. Experimental results validate the practicability of the proposed estimating mechanisms.


  • Some works have proposed computation models for trust by incorporating the concept of risk. Like trust, reputation has also been studied extensively. From the perspective of social network researchers, reputation is perceived as an entity which is globally visible to all members of a social network community.
  • No work addresses the issue of selecting trustworthy service provider in cloud marketplace.
  • Estimation of risk of outsourcing a business onto third-party cloud has not been handled in reported works.
  • Models proposed in reported works lack experimentation and analysis.
  • In the state-of-the-art cloud, the security guarantees and responsibilities are specified in SLAs. However, vague clauses and unclear technical specifications of SLAs make selection of service provider difficult for customers.
  • Transparency of provider’s SLA is one of the provisions to deduce competence. We have used this approach in the present work to estimate cloud provider’s competence.


  • No mathematical model presented.
  • No experiment or validation done.
  • Some results have been given to establish higher accuracy of the model, but lacks analysis.


  • The current work is significant as it proposes a framework, SelCSP, which attempts to compute risk involved in interacting with a given cloud service provider (CSP).
  • The framework estimates perceived level of interaction risk by combining trustworthiness and competence of cloud provider. Trustworthiness is computed from ratings obtained through either direct interaction or feedback. Competence is estimated from the transparency of SLA guarantees.
  • A framework, termed as SelCSP, has been proposed to facilitate customers in selecting an ideal cloud service provider for business outsourcing which depicts different modules of the framework and how these modules are functionally related.
  • SelCSP framework provides APIs through which both customers and providers can register themselves. After registering, customer can provide trust ratings based on interactions with provider. Cloud provider needs to submit its SLA to compute competence.
  • At present, verifying the correctness of submitted ratings or sanitizing the erroneous data in the framework is beyond the scope. We assume that only registered customers can provide referrals/feedbacks and they do not have any malicious intents of submitting unfair ratings.


  • Develop a framework, called SelCSP, to compute overall perceived interaction risk.
  • Establish a relationship among perceived interaction risk, trustworthiness and competence of service provider.
  • Propose a mechanism by which trustworthiness of a service provider may be estimated.
  • Propose a mechanism by which transparency of any provider’s SLA may be computed.
  • Comparison of trust and competence results generated by SelCSP and those obtained from models reported in literature.
  • Analysis of results to provide insight into the behavior of the proposed risk model.





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Nirnay Ghosh, Student Member, IEEE, Soumya K. Ghosh, Member, IEEE, and Sajal K. Das, Senior Member, IEEE, “SelCSP: A Framework to Facilitate Selection of Cloud Service Providers”, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON CLOUD COMPUTING, VOL. 3, NO. 1, JANUARY-MARCH 2015.

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