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A Framework for Semantic Web Service Retrieval

A Framework for Semantic Web Service Retrieval

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01/01/2013

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A Framework for Semantic Web Service Retrieval
Doris Janssen
1
, Alexandre Lins
1
, Thomas Schlegel
1
, Michael Kühner
1
,Gerhard Wanner
2
 
1
Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), Nobelstr. 12, D-70569 Stuttgart,Germany{Doris.Janssen, Alexandre.Lins, Thomas.Schlegel, Michael.Kuehner}@iao.fraunhofer.de
2
University of Applied Sciences, Schellingstr. 24, D-70174 Stuttgart, Germanywanner@hft-stuttgart.de
Abstract.
In this paper, we focus on the problem of retrieving semanticinformation about web services. We develop a framework for bringing togethertechnologies of web service retrieval (as provided by UDDI) and languages of semantic description of web services (as provided by OWL-S) and show theapplication of such a framework.
1 Introduction
Web services have already proven their strength in providing organizations withaccess to remote services that are hosted in as well as outside these institutions. Thisrather basic but powerful functionality provides a basis for more advanced techniqueslike the composition of web services, which will allow for the provision of complexservices that are assembled from existing “atomic” services.It becomes clear that for composition within a dynamic web service environment,there is a need for more than the currently available, rather syntactic and static metainformation and design time composition. Web services in a heterogeneousenvironment often become unavailable, change versions or are replaced by otherservices. Therefore, the rapidly changing landscape of web services needsdescriptions which allow the run-time search and inspection of web services to reachthe goal of dynamic search and composition.
2 Related Work
To support these goals of dynamic search and composition, some technologies arealready available: WSDL [1] and UDDI [2] are standards that are widely used in thiscontext, but they contain rather no semantics, that are needed for intelligentcombination of services. OWL-S [3] instead is a quite new OWL [4] ontology,containing structures for storing semantic information about a web service, that would
 
2
Doris Janssen, Alexandre Lins, Thomas Schlegel, Michael Kühner, Gerhard Wanne
r
help to classify a web service and get information about what a service does and howit works.We think that intelligent retrieval and automatic composition of web services canonly be done using the more powerful abilities of a semantic description for webservices, as offered by OWL-S. Yet, these languages are the first step towards moreintelligent systems. In order to do the second step of retrieval and dynamiccombination of web services, some active modules are needed:
 
Retrieval: A web service retrieval mechanism (similar to an UDDI-Requester)could match semantic descriptions of web services with the request and thenretrieve the appropriate web service. While already first steps in this direction havebeen accomplished [5], a common approach to access these directoriessemantically is still missing.
 
Invocation: Web service invocation engines could support the invocation of services, check security issues, take part in service level agreements, etc..
 
Composition: Planners could compose processes from different servicecomponents and execute them.While the problem of dynamic web service invocation seems to be solved (using e.g.WSIF [6]) and there is currently a lot of work done for the composition of webservices (e.g. BPEL4WS, also some parts of OWL-S), regarding the retrieval of webservices other functionalities yet only basically implemented exist. For the problem of retrieving services there are prototypic solutions and suggestions like “Matchmaker”[7] and “Semantic Discovery Systems” [8], and for planning there has been developedthe “Web Service Composition Via AI Planning module” within IBM’s ETTK [9].These are first prototypes to show concepts, and they still bring disadvantages withthem, like being stand alone or lacking public availability and acceptance.Within ETTK of IBM, the “pluggable discovery framework” allows easycombination of different, underlying retrieval mechanisms, like UDDI or WSIL [10].Yet, this framework concentrates on realization of discovery mechanisms, withoutusing methods for semantic discovery that would be necessary to improve currentdiscovery methods.In this article, we therefore present a framework for development and operation of web services on the Java platform, where the different modules can simply beplugged in. We will especially focus on an API for discovery and retrieval of WebServices that implements the connection with different service discovery engines, andthat provides operations for semantic discovery of web services described by OWL-S.
3 Holistic Vision of the Framework
A framework that supports all activities needed to act with semantic java webservices, like shown in Figure 1, can help coping with the question of handling webservices semantically, even more when services are possibly described in differentlanguages. The SemanticServiceRegistryAPI (SSRA) is such a framework coveringretrieval and invocation as well as planning and dynamic combination of webservices.
 
A Framework for Semantic
Web Service Retrieval 3
Agent 1Planner(Web ServiceCombination)1:Call4:SuggestionRetrieval InterfaceRetrieval Engine2:CallWeb ServiceAgent 1.2Web ServiceAgent 1.3Web ServiceAgent 1.13:Search & EvaluationInvocationInterfaceInvocationEngine5:Call6:Call
 
Fig. 1.
Framework for operation of semantic web services.
A web service can make use of a planner service in order to synthesize complexprocesses, combined out of different web services as suggested by [5]. For retrievingweb services, a retrieval module is provided, as well as an invocation module for theact of invoking and negotiating quality of service. All modules are built to be usedseparately as well as together and can be accessed via a web service interface. In thispaper, we will especially focus on the retrieval module.The service discovery framework addresses the web service retrieval. It defines aset of interfaces and associated methods that enables the developer to access SemanticWeb Services registries. It is designed to be open and therefore it is able to work withdifferent implementations of registry technologies. Moreover, it provides a set of methods to perform query and update operations on the registry using a Javarepresentation of the OWL-S ontology. The implementation of the framework shouldbe able to manage connection issues, handle client requests and forward them to theregistry, process the responses and return the results back to the client.The Java API for XML Registries (JAXR) [11] provides a basic framework foraccessing XML registries, which can be used to build upon. JAXR is composed of aset of interfaces and associated methods for manipulating registry data objects andperform operations on the registry. Moreover, the API is open, meaning that one canprovide specific implementations to access registries based on different technologies,such as UDDI and ebXML [12]. A lack of JAXR is that the design constructs used torepresent registry objects are not fit to represent OWL-S constructs, so enhancementshave to be made. The service discovery framework leverages off the JAXR API toprovide a tool that enables the creation and management of OWL-S servicedescriptions from a Java application. On one hand, the API takes advantage of someof the design constructs provided by the JAXR API specification. On the other hand,it provides a tool that is based on OWL-S concepts and therefore is more intuitive forthe developer accessing a semantic-based registry.

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