Adapting BPEL4WS for the Semantic Web: The Bottom-Up Approach to Web Service Interoperation

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Abstract

Towards the ultimate goal of seamless interaction among networked programs and devices, industry has developed orchestration and process modeling languages such as XLANG, WSFL, and recently BPEL4WS. Unfortunately, these efforts leave us a long way from seamless interoperation. Researchers in the Semantic Web community have taken up this challenge proposing top-down approaches to achieve aspects of Web Service interoperation. Unfortunately, many of these efforts have been disconnected from emerging industry standards, particularly in process modeling. In this paper we take a bottom-up approach to integrating Semantic Web technology into Web services. Building on BPEL4WS, we present integrated Semantic Web technology for automating customized, dynamic binding of Web services together with interoperation through semantic translation. We discuss the value of semantically enriched service interoperation and demonstrate how our framework accounts for user-defined constraints while gaining potentially successful execution pathways in a practically motivated example. Finally, we provide an analysis of the forward-looking limitations of frameworks like BPEL4WS, and suggest how such specifications might embrace semantic technology at a fundamental level to work towards fully automated Web service interoperation.