Framework for Semantic Web Process Composition

Kaarthik Sivashanmugam, John A. Miller, Amit P. Sheth, and Kunal Verma
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 9, Number 2, Winter 2004-05, pp. 71.

Abstract: Web services have the potential to revolutionize e-commerce by enabling businesses to interact with each other on the fly. To date, however, Web processes using Web services have been created mostly at the syntactic level. Current composition standards focus on building processes based on the interface description of the participating services. This rigid approach, with its strong coupling between the process and the interface of the participating services, does not allow businesses to dynamically change partners and services. As shown in this article, Web process composition techniques can be enhanced by using semantic process templates to capture the semantic requirements of the process. The semantic process templates act as configurable modules for common industry processes maintaining the semantics of the participating activities, control flow, intermediate calculations, and conditional branches, and exposing them in an industry-accepted interface. The templates are instantiated to form executable processes according to the semantics of the activities in the templates. The use of ontologies in template definition allows much richer description of activity requirements and a more effective way of locating services to carry out activities in the executable Web process. Discovery of services considers not only functionality, but also the quality of service (QoS) of the corresponding activities. This unique approach combines the expressive power of present Web service composition standards with the advantages of Semantic Web techniques for process template definition and Web service discovery. The prototype implementation of the framework for building the templates carries out Semantic Web service discovery and generates the processes.

Key Words and Phrases: Semantic process templates, Semantic Web process, Semantic Web service discovery, Web services composition.