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Re: A Question about Agent-based Service Discovery/Selection

From: Gregory Huczynski <greg@dcs.gla.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2004 17:39:09 +0000
Message-Id: <02466388-6ECC-11D8-B0C3-000A95B3E46E@dcs.gla.ac.uk>
Cc: Francis McCabe <fgm@fla.fujitsu.com>, Rama Akkiraju <akkiraju@us.ibm.com>
To: public-sws-ig@w3.org
With my initial question, I was essentially trying to ascertain that, 
regardless of the semantic matching/reasoning that may occur later in 
the discovery process, we would always need to start by constraining on 
the communications interface if the discovered service were to be 
invoked autonomously by a software agent (i.e. without direct 
involvement of the programmer).

Thanks for the responses so far!

Gregory Huczynski

On 5 Mar 2004, at 17:24, Rama Akkiraju wrote:

>
> Web Services registry, such as UDDI, could be used to narrow down the 
> search and to obtain those services that are relevant in a given 
> industry category. Further filtering is also possible (via t-Model 
> extensions to UDDI) to indicate that the requester prefers to obtain a 
> list of services that are described in a given language (say wsdl or 
> DAML-S). In the BookAirlineTicket example - a B2C scenario, a public 
> registry of Web Services is conceivable for doing such pre-filtering. 
> In a B2B setting, a case might be made for dealing with a 
> (pre-selected) preferred set of suppliers and it is most likely more 
> of a private registry.
>
>  Regards
>  Rama Akkiraju
>
>  Senior Software Engineer
>  Semantic e-business Middleware Group
>  IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
>  Hawthorne, NY
>
>  e-mail: akkiraju@us.ibm.com
>
>
>
>
>
> Francis McCabe <fgm@fla.fujitsu.com>
> Sent by: public-sws-ig-request@w3.org
>
> 03/05/2004 11:55 AM
>        
>         To:        Gregory Huczynski <greg@dcs.gla.ac.uk>
>         cc:        public-sws-ig@w3.org
>         Subject:        Re: A Question about Agent-based Service 
> Discovery/Selection
>
>
>
>
>  Just a quicky response ...
>  You are partly right.
>  However, it is not monolithic, and it is also naive to assume that
>  there will be *one* airline interface.
>
>  The means of interacting with a service *is* part of the semantics of
>  that service. So it figures in the discovery process.
>
>  A much more interesting and pertinent issue is whether anyone is
>  willing to trust such automatic discovery when spending significant
>  amounts of money!
>
>  Frank McCabe
>
>  On Mar 5, 2004, at 3:00 AM, Gregory Huczynski wrote:
>
>  >
>  > Hi,
>  >
>  > I'm a newcomer to the area of Web Services, and I've recently 
> started
>  > investigating the current research into how services are discovered,
>  > and a particular one selected that suits the user's (or 
> application's)
>  > needs. I'm interested in how these procedures can be done
>  > automatically by some agent-like software entity.
>  >
>  > I've read quite a few position-style papers (e.g. Semantic Web
>  > Services, McIlraith et al, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 2001), which
>  > advocate describing and advertising services using semantic richer
>  > descriptions written in DAML+OIL and OWL. The argument is given that
>  > these richer descriptions will be more amenable to automated
>  > manipulation and reasoning than those currently provided by 
> discovery
>  > mechanisms such as UDDI.
>  >
>  > However, from reading these papers, I am slightly confused by a 
> basic
>  > issue. Let's consider an example given in McIlraith et al's paper: 
> ..
>  > "A user might say, for example, "Find a service that sells airline
>  > tickets between San Francisco and Toronto and that accepts payment 
> by
>  > Diner's Club credit card"". I assume that with the
>  > agent-OWL-description approach, this problem would be solved by an
>  > agent reasoning over the semantic markup of the available services,
>  > identifying those that meet the user's constraints.
>  >
>  > However, in order for the agent to book a ticket automatically from 
> a
>  > service, it must be able to communicate with it: it must know and
>  > understand the service's interface (specified, say, in WSDL). So, my
>  > question is this - for problems like the example above, before any
>  > reasoning can be done to ensure we meet user constraints, is the
>  > service search-space first narrowed down to only those services that
>  > implement a WSDL (communications) interface understood by the agent?
>  >
>  > For example, in solving the problem above:
>  >
>  > - Assume that a standard BookAirlineTicket WSDL interface has been
>  > defined. Lots of airline ticket services export this interface.
>  > - Assume that the user's agent knows and understands the
>  > BookAirlineTicket interface (it could communicate with a
>  > BookAirlineTicket service)
>  > - In solving the problem, the agent first narrows its search to 
> those
>  > advertised services that export the BookAirlineTicket interface
>  > - The agent then reasons over the identified BookAirlineTicket
>  > services' descriptions, and identifies those that meet the user's
>  > constraints.
>  > - The agent then offers these matched services to the user, or books
>  > the ticket itself.
>  >
>  > Basically, in order for a service to be discovered, selected and 
> used
>  > automatically, do we not require an initial search-space 
> constraining
>  > step based on the notion of known / previously-defined service
>  > function interfaces?
>  >
>  > Apologies for writing such a long email for such a basic question!
>  >
>  > Thanks in advance
>  >
>  > Gregory Huczynski
>  > Department of Computing Science
>  > University of Glasgow
>  >
>
>
Received on Friday, 5 March 2004 12:43:24 UTC

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