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[jwt-dev] Semantic matching of web services and business processes

Hi Samir, hi Djamel, 

as Marc wrote in one of his lasts mail, you are also working in the context
of semantic matchmaking of services and processes!?

In my research I focus on Semantic Business Processes and their model-driven
realization through Semantic Web Services.
The problem with semantic web services is, that there are currently a lot of
approaches available - each one with a different focus. The semantic markup
for web service-language OWL-S extends the existing OWL (Web Ontology
Language) constructs with special constructs for web services (Input,
Output, Preconditions and Effects as well as others). Similarly, the Web
Service Modeling Ontology (WSMO) focuses on the modeling of services and
ontologies, but also includes mediators and goals and extends the
description logic in OWL-S to a Prolog-Style language. On the other hand the
Semantic Web Services Framework (SWSF) extends OWL-S to a first-order logic
in its language SWSL. And there is the WSDL-S approach and the SAWSDL
approach which "simply" extend existing WSDL-files with semantic and
machine-interpretable information. As one can see acronyms and abbreviations
are in this area widely common - more than one can simply understand and so
are the "standards" themselves. :-)

Therefore we at the University of Augsburg compared the existing standards
and created a meta-model "on top" which includes the constructs that are
most important in these standards (Please see [1] for a detailed comparison
and the paper submitted to [2] as attachment).

For the semantic annotation of business processes we currently work on a
semantic description of input and output of process actions and their
dependencies in order to make an automatic synthesis/composition of process
actions.
Therefore, we currently propose a three-step approach:
>analysing the semantic dependencies of process actions that are stored in a
process library (e.g. a workflow engine) and creating a
action-dependency-graph
>creating an action-state-graph considering the dependencies between
actions: this computes all states that can occur and all goals that might be
fulfilled in the different states
>developing a process model (currently on basis of UML 2 activity diagrams)

A paper describing this approach is currently available as a draft version
and I can send it to you if you are interested in further details.

Any information on your research and attempts is highly welcome and it would
be great if we could include some semantic aspects also in the JWT project.

Best regards,

Florian



[1] Lautenbacher, F. A UML-profile and transformation rules for semantic web
services, available online at
http://www.ds-lab.org/publications/reports/2006-20.html

[2] Lautenbacher, F.; Bauer, B. Creating a Meta-Model for Semantic Web
Services, In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Web Information
Systems and Technologies, WEBIST 2007, Barcelona, Spain, March 2007.

-----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Marc Dutoo [mailto:marc.dutoo@xxxxxxxxxxx] 
Gesendet: Donnerstag, 5. April 2007 21:31
An: Java Workflow Toolbox; Samir TATA; 'Djamel Belaid'; Florian Lautenbacher
Cc: jwt-developers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Betreff: [architecture] Application mapping : services in JWT

Hi all

I've met yesterday with the other SCOrWare members. The aim of the SCOrWare
public-funded project is to build a complete SOA / SCA platform, including
runtime, tooling and demonstrators. Its process and workflow tooling is set
to be implemented with and on top of JWT.

Obviously SCOrWare is very much service-oriented, as its two starting
letters say it. The concept of service is also at the heart of the SOA
vision and orchestration. Workflows are conceptually a notch above
orchestration, but if we want it to be practical and easily allow SOA
integration I really believe (please discuss) we should have an idea of what
is a service in JWT.

So what is a service in JWT ?

Speaking in generic process concepts, it is a service call that happens
inside an activity, mostly in an automatic (non manual) way. So it is
nothing else than a specific kind of application, one that happens to be
stateless etc. (making it all the way easier to call). In WfMC words, the
connector used to map to this "service" application would be called a
specific type of "ToolAgent", in Bonita of "Hooks", and in AgilPro of
"Functions". Obviously in BPEL it is merely a web service invocation !

NB. I'm now replacing "services" with "web services" to make it more
explicit. But other kind of services may also be considered (ex. JBI, REST
etc.).

At the tooling level, it would be useful to
   * be able to configure in the JWT UI the application mapping allowing web
service calls.
   * be able to configure this "web service" application mapping with the
targeted service and its parameters.
   * This should enrich the metamodel with the right information, and
typically our XPDL mapping should be able to process it for its plugged
engine.
   * be able to choose the targeted web service using a service registry.
   * be able to validate the consistency of the targeted web services and
its parameters.

For the last one we've already talked about validation frameworks like
Recipe.

For the two last ones semantic technology like those provided by INT Evry
and the University of Augsburg would be a powerful alternative. 
Think of choosing a service in the registry among only those allowed
according to semantic annotations describing what its purpose is. Think of
being able to match service call parameters and arguments, and plug adapters
if need be (e.g. an adapter to reverse the parameter order).

Some questions about services in JWT :
   * should it be explicitly depicted in the metamodel ?
   * another registry is the process and package registry. Any synergy here
? Like using an ebXML registry for both as an implementation ?
   * Florian, input about your own semantic technology features and needs
would be interesting !

Regards
Marc Dutoo
Open Wide

Attachment: CreatingaMetaModelForSemanticWebServiceStandards_Revised.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document


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