Flexible Service Composition

  • Adam Barker
  • Robert G. Mann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4149)


Both the agent and Grid communities develop concepts for distributed computing, however they do so with different motivations. This paper demonstrates how the flexible coordination technique of interaction protocols, from the field of multiagent communication, can be used to model the processes found in scientific workflow, a typical composition problem faced by the Grid community. Our approach is founded on the adaptation of the MultiAgent Protocol (MAP) language to perform web service composition. A definition of the language and framework is presented, in order to solve a detailed scientific workflow taken from the field of time-domain astronomy. MAP offers a flexible, adaptable approach, allowing the typical features and requirements of a scientific workflow, to be understood in terms of pure coordination and executed in an agent-based, decentralised, peer-to-peer architecture.


Multiagent System Service Composition Interaction Protocol Role Type Virtual Observatory 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Business Process Execution Language for Web Services Specification, Version 1.1. Technical report, BEA Systems and IBM Corporation and Microsoft Corporation and SAP AG and Siebel Systems (July 2002)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Smart Grid Technologies Workshop. In: Fourth International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, Utrecht, The Netherlands (July 2005)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Agent-Based Grid Computing Workshop. In: 6th IEEE International Symposium on Cluster Computing and the Grid, Singapore (May 2006)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Grid 2: Blueprint for a New Computing Infrastructure. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco (November 2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Altintas, I., Berkley, C., Jaeger, E., Jones, M., Ludaescher, B., Mock, S.: Kepler: An Extensible System for Design and Execution of Scientific Workflows. In: 16th International Conference on Scientific and Statistical Database Management (June 2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Esteva, M., Rodriguez, J., Arcos, J., Sierra, C., Garcia, P.: Formalising Agent Mediated Electronic Institutions. In: Catalan Congres on AI (CCIA 2000), pp. 29–38 (2000)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Foster, I., Jennings, N.R., Kesselman, C.: Brain meets Brawn: Why Grid and Agents Need Each Other. In: Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, New York, USA (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hollingsworth, D.: The Workflow Reference Model. Workflow Management Coalition, Document Number tc00-1003 edition (January 1995)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Huaglory, Unland, R. (eds.): Multiagent and Grid Systems. IOS Press, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ludäscher, B., Altintas, I., Jaeger-Frank, E., Jones, M., Lee, E., Tao, J., Zhao, Y., Berkley, C., Higgins, D.: Scientific Workflow Management and the Kepler System. Concurrency and Computation: Practice & Experience, Special Issue on Scientific Workflows (2005)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mayer, A., McGough, S., Gulamali, M., Young, L., Stanton, J., Newhouse, S., Darlington, J.: Meaning and Behaviour in Grid Oriented Components. In: Parashar, M. (ed.) GRID 2002. LNCS, vol. 2536, pp. 100–111. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Interaction Protocol Specifications. Technical report, Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (2002),
  13. 13.
    Smith, R.: The Contract Net Protocol: High-level Communication and Control in a Distributed Problem Solver. IEEE Transactions on Computers C-29(12), 1104–1113 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Stevens, R., McEntire, R., Goble, C., Greenwood, M., Zhao, J., Wipat, A., Li, P.: myGrid and the Drug Discovery Process. Drug Discovery Today: BIOSILICO 4(2), 140–148 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Large Synoptic Survey Telescope,
  16. 16.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M., Kiepuszewski, B., Barros, A.P.: Workflow Patterns. In: Distributed and Parallel Databases, pp. 5–51 (July 2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Barker
    • 1
  • Robert G. Mann
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications (CISA), School of InformaticsUniversity of EdinburghUK
  2. 2.Institute for AstronomyUniversity of EdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations