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Functional Units: Abstractions for Web Service Annotations

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8 Author(s)
Missier, P. ; Sch. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK ; Wolstencroft, K. ; Tanoh, F. ; Li, P.
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Computational and data-intensive science increasingly depends on a large Web Service infrastructure, as services that provide a broad array of functionality can be composed into workflows to address complex research questions. In this context, the goal of service registries is to offer accurate search and discovery functions to scientists. Their effectiveness, however, depends not only on the model chosen to annotate the services, but also on the level of abstraction chosen for the annotations. The work presented in this paper stems from the observation that current annotation models force users to think in terms of service interfaces, rather than of high-level functionality, thus reducing their effectiveness. To alleviate this problem,we introduce Functional Units (FU) as the elementary units of information used to describe a service. Using popular examples of services for the Life Sciences, we define FUs as configurations and compositions of underlying service operations, and show how functional-style service annotations can be easily realised using the OWL semantic Web language. Finally, we suggest techniques for automating the service annotations process, by analysing collections of workflows that use those services.

Published in:

Services (SERVICES-1), 2010 6th World Congress on

Date of Conference:

5-10 July 2010