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Re: OpenWFE - other workflow formalisms and engines

From: Antoon Goderis <goderisa@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 22:21:52 +0100 (BST)
To: William Bug <William.Bug@DrexelMed.edu>
cc: w3c semweb hcls <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, Chimezie Ogbuji <ogbujic@bio.ri.ccf.org>, Joanne Luciano <jluciano@predmed.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.42.0607182000490.10266-100000@phoebus>

Hi,

> I must say, I really like the looks of OpenWFE.  It certainly is a
> worthy alternative to Taverna and Kepler - though each provide
> specific advantages and disadvantages.  I endorse Joanne's request
> for some guidance on what the pros & cons are here.

We've been mapping Taverna and Kepler to the mentioned 'workflow
patterns' (www.workflowpatterns.com) to get a feel for the
systems' relative expressivity. The workflow patterns however appear
fairly  'exotic' and not really used in practice, at least for scientific
workflows - maybe pathways are different. The patterns the scientists do
use are more dataflow oriented, using abstractions that stem from
functional programming.

So in answer to the question, it would depend on how complex the control
flows are you need to represent.

> One question worth asking in this context is which best supports the
> use of semantic web tech as a means of using formal semantic
> knowledge to navigate decision trees and modify run-time algorithmic
> parameters in the workflow?

Both Taverna and Kepler have been looking at how to represent processes
with OWL/RDF, in the context of service/workflow discovery and
provenance collection.

What kind of reasoning/query support would you be hoping for by
encoding the control flow constructs in a SW language? Some of the
OWL-S work [1] for example encodes control flow patterns in OWL, to then map
these to another formalism and do the inference based on the other formalism.
The purposes there have been formal verification and simulation.

For Taverna we are looking mostly at workflow discovery, and so far found
that a simplified view over the control flow could still do the trick,
and that in this case you can then still use Description Logic (OWL DL)
reasoning [2].

Antoon

--
Antoon Goderis
PhD student
Information Management Group
University of Manchester, UK
http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~goderisa

[1] Automated Discovery, Interaction and Composition of Semantic Web
services,Katia Sycara, Massimo Paolucci, Anupriya Ankolekar and Naveen
Srinivasan,Journal of Web Semantics, Volume 1, Issue 1, September 2003,
pp. 27-46.
http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/%7Esoftagents/papers/websemantics2003.pdf

Analysis and Simulation of Web Services, Srini Narayanan and Sheila
McIlraith. Computer Networks, Elsevier Science B.V., 2003

[2]
Antoon Goderis, Ulrike Sattler, Phillip Lord and Carole Goble. Seven
bottlenecks to workflow reuse and repurposing. Proc. of the 4th Int.
Semantic Web Conference, Galway, Ireland, 6-10 November 2005
http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~goderisa/goderis+bottlenecks-ISWC05.pdf

Antoon Goderis, Ulrike Sattler and Carole Goble. Applying DLs to workflow
reuse and repurposing. International Description Logics workshop,
Edinburgh, Scotland, 24-26 July 2005
http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~goderisa/goderis+repurposing-DL05.pdf


 >
> I really have no idea myself, but I'd expect there are others on this
> list who could answer that question in some detail.
>
> There are a few other workflow formalisms in use in the world beyond
> life sciences that can be useful to be aware of.
>
> Some of these may in fact underlie OpenWFE and Taverna.  I've not had
> the chance to dig into this yet, either, but I'm certain there are
> others on this list who can tell us.
>
> Some may also not have survived the e-business process debates of
> several years back - or the more recent re-orientation toward SOA,
> though I do believe most of these are in use in fairly large
> application spaces.
>
> Web Services Flow Language (WSFL)
> http://xml.coverpages.org/wsfl.html
>
> Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS)
> http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/library/specification/ws-bpel/
>
> or it's more recent SOA-informed decendent - WS-BPEL 2.0
> http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/library/specification/ws-
> bpelsubproc/
>
> GRID Services Flow Language (GSFL) - built on OGSA and, therefore,
> quite compatible with the Globus libraries
> http://www-unix.globus.org/cog/projects/workflow/
>
> e-Business Process ML (ebPML)
> http://www.ebpml.org/
>
> On the BIRN project, we've been using workflow engines to help
> leverage GRID resources for high-throughput, large-scale brain image
> data processing tasks - e.g.,:
>
> Condor
> http://www.cs.wisc.edu/condor/
>
> Kepler
> http://kepler-project.org/
>
> (see also Kepler's parent project - Ptolemy)
> http://ptolemy.berkeley.edu/
>
>
> There are also the two following community sites worth checking out,
> though they have a distinct bent toward the commercial sector:
>
> The Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC)
> http://www.wfmc.org/
>
> Workflow Management Systems yellow pages
> http://www.ifs.uni-linz.ac.at/ifs/staff/kramler/wfms.html
>
> Cheers,
> Bill
>
> On Jul 18, 2006, at 1:39 PM, jluciano@predmed.com wrote:
>
> >
> > Hi Chimezie,
> >
> > Thanks for sending the information about OpenWFE.  Do you know how
> > OpenWFE compares to Taverna?  I've been using Taverna (just a
> > little) so far for some exploratory work in Diabetes.
> >
> > Joanne
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: Chimezie Ogbuji [mailto:ogbujic@bio.ri.ccf.org]
> >> Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2006 12:04 PM
> >> To: 'w3c semweb hcls'
> >> Subject: Re: HCLS-ACPP Tcon today
> >>
> >>
> >> I've added links for OpenWFE's Workflow Patterns (as well as
> >> the XML schema it uses to represent workflow patterns) to the
> >> ACPPTaskForce Wiki. Part of the task objectives on the ACPP wiki
> >> includes
> >> collecting core vocabularies for expressing workflow modeling
> >> constructs. There are many well established patterns in this field
> >> that
> >> could be captured in an RDF/OWL vocabulary for use with pathway and
> >> protocol decision making.
> >>
> >> One of the immediate advantages (in this case)
> >> of using a XML dialect (that could be mapped to such a
> >> vocabulary directly), is in using pre-existing workflow management
> >> tools (such
> >> as OpenWFE's web-based editor) to construct a workflow document. The
> >> existing ER Stroke Management usecase could be modelled this way.
> >>
> >> OpenWFE is an open source workflow engine.
> >>
> >> * http://demo.openwfe.org/droflo/ [Droflo Demo]
> >>
> >> Chimezie Ogbuji
> >> Lead Systems Analyst
> >> Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
> >> Cleveland Clinic Foundation
> >> 9500 Euclid Avenue/ W26
> >> Cleveland, Ohio 44195
> >> Office: (216)444-8593
> >> ogbujic@ccf.org
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
>
> Bill Bug
> Senior Analyst/Ontological Engineer
>
> Laboratory for Bioimaging  & Anatomical Informatics
> www.neuroterrain.org
> Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
> Drexel University College of Medicine
> 2900 Queen Lane
> Philadelphia, PA    19129
> 215 991 8430 (ph)
> 610 457 0443 (mobile)
> 215 843 9367 (fax)
>
>
> Please Note: I now have a new email - William.Bug@DrexelMed.edu
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
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Received on Wednesday, 19 July 2006 14:57:53 GMT

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