Semantic Service Design for Collaborative Business Processes in Internetworked Enterprises
Modern collaborating enterprises can be seen as borderless organizations whose processes are dynamically transformed and integrated with the ones of their partners (Internetworked Enterprises, IE), thus enabling the design of collaborative business processes. The adoption of Semantic Web and service-oriented technologies for implementing collaboration in such distributed and heterogeneous environments promises significant benefits. IE can model their own processes independently by using the Software as a Service paradigm (SaaS). Each enterprise maintains a catalog of available services and these can be shared across IE and reused to build up complex collaborative processes. Moreover, each enterprise can adopt its own terminology and concepts to describe business processes and component services. This brings requirements to manage semantic heterogeneity in process descriptions which are distributed across different enterprise systems. To enable effective service-based collaboration, IEs have to standardize their process descriptions and model them through component services using the same approach and principles. For enabling collaborative business processes across IE, services should be designed following an homogeneous approach, possibly maintaining a uniform level of granularity. In the paper we propose an ontology-based semantic modeling approach apt to enrich and reconcile semantics of process descriptions to facilitate process knowledge management and to enable semantic service design (by discovery, reuse and integration of process elements/constructs). The approach brings together Semantic Web technologies, techniques in process modeling, ontology building and semantic matching in order to provide a comprehensive semantic modeling framework.
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