On the Semantics of Functional Descriptions of Web Services

  • Uwe Keller
  • Holger Lausen
  • Michael Stollberg
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4011)


Functional descriptions are a central pillar of Semantic Web services. Disregarding details on how to invoke and consume the service, they shall provide a black box description for determining the usability of a Web service for some request or usage scenario with respect to the provided functionality. The creation of sophisticated semantic matchmaking techniques as well as exposition of their correctness requires clear and unambiguous semantics of functional descriptions. As existing description frameworks like OWL-S and WSMO lack in this respect, this paper presents so-called Abstract State Spaces as a rich and language independent model of Web services and the world they act in. This allows giving a precise mathematical definition of the concept of Web Service and the semantics of functional descriptions. Finally, we demonstrate the benefit of applying such a model by means of a concrete use case: the semantic analysis of functional descriptions which allows to detect certain (un)desired semantic properties of functional descriptions. As a side effect, semantic analysis based on our formal model allows us to gain a formal understanding and insight in matching of functional descriptions during Web service discovery.


Domain Ontology Information Space Dynamic Symbol Proof Obligation Functional Description 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Blackburn, P., de Rijke, M., Venema, Y.: Modal Logic. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2001)MATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Enderton, H.B.: A Mathematical Introduction to Logic, 2nd edn. Academic Press, London (2000)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Giunchiglia, F., Bouquet, P.: Introduction to Contextual Reasoning. An Artificial Intelligence Perspective. Technical report, ITC-IRST, Technical Report #9705-19 (May 1997)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fitting, M.: First-Order Logic and Automated Theorem Proving, 2nd edn. Springer, Heidelberg (1996)MATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hoare, C.A.R.: An axiomatic basis for computer programming. Commun. ACM 12(10), 576–580 (1969)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jones, C.B.: Systematic Software Development using VDM. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River (1990)MATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Keller, U., Lara, R., Lausen, H., Polleres, A., Fensel, D.: Automatic Location of Services. In: Gómez-Pérez, A., Euzenat, J. (eds.) ESWC 2005. LNCS, vol. 3532, pp. 1–16. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Keller, U., Lara, R. (eds.): WSMO Web Service Discovery. Deliverable D5.1v0.1 November 12, WSML Working Group (2004), online: http://www.wsmo.org/TR/
  9. 9.
    Lara, R., Roman, D., Polleres, A., Fensel, D.: A Conceptual Comparison of WSMO and OWL-S. In: Proc. of the 2nd European Conference on Web Services (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lausen, H.: Functional Description of Web Services. Deliverable D28.1v0.1. January 13, 2006, WSML Working Group (2006), online: http://www.wsmo.org/TR/
  11. 11.
    Lausen, H., Polleres, A., Roman, D. (eds.): Web Service Modeling Ontology (WSMO), W3C Member Submission, June 3 (2005), online: http://www.w3.org/Submission/WSMO/
  12. 12.
    Li, L., Horrocks, I.: A Software Framework for Matchmaking Based on Semantic Web Technology. In: WWW 2003, Budapest, Hungary (May 2003)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Martin, D. (ed.): OWL-S: Semantic Markup for Web Services. W3C Member Submission (November 22, 2004), online: http://www.w3.org/Submission/OWL-S
  14. 14.
    Meyer, B.: Eiffel: the Language. Prentice Hall PTR, Englewood Cliffs (1992)MATHGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Paolucci, M., Kawamura, T., Payne, T., Sycara, K.: Semantic Matching of Web Services Capabilities. In: Horrocks, I., Hendler, J. (eds.) ISWC 2002. LNCS, vol. 2342, pp. 333–347. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Spivey, J.: The Z Notation, A Reference Manual, 2nd edn. Prentice-Hall International, Englewood Cliffs (1992)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    van Benthem, J.: Temporal logic. In: Handbook of logic in artificial intelligence and logic programming: epistemic and temporal reasoning, vol. 4, pp. 241–350. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1995)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zaremski, A.M., Wing, J.M.: Specification matching of software components. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology 6(4), 333–369 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uwe Keller
    • 1
  • Holger Lausen
    • 1
  • Michael Stollberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI)University of InnsbruckAustria

Personalised recommendations