Automatic annotation of Web services based on workflow definitions

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    Semantic annotations of web services can support the effective and efficient discovery of services, and guide their composition into workflows. At present, however, the practical utility of such annotations is limited by the small number of service annotations available for general use. Manual annotation of services is a time consuming and thus expensive task, so some means are required by which services can be automatically (or semi-automatically) annotated. In this paper, we show how information can be inferred about the semantics of operation parameters based on their connections to other (annotated) operation parameters within tried-and-tested workflows. Because the data links in the workflows do not necessarily contain every possible connection of compatible parameters, we can infer only constraints on the semantics of parameters. We show that despite their imprecise nature these so-called loose annotations are still of value in supporting the manual annotation task, inspecting workflows and discovering services. We also show that derived annotations for already annotated parameters are useful. By comparing existing and newly derived annotations of operation parameters, we can support the detection of errors in existing annotations, the ontology used for annotation and in workflows. The derivation mechanism has been implemented, and its practical applicability for inferring new annotations has been established through an experimental evaluation. The usefulness of the derived annotations is also demonstrated. © 2008 ACM.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number11
    JournalACM Transactions on the Web
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008


    • Automatic annotation
    • Ontologies
    • Semantic annotations
    • Semantic web services
    • Workflows


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