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RE: Discussion: OWL-S and Industry Adoption

From: Katia Sycara <katia@cs.cmu.edu>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 2004 18:51:20 -0500
To: "'Camara Melgosa, Javier'" <JCAMARA@softwareag.es>, public-sws-ig@w3.org
Cc: joshgrob@comcast.net, katia@cs.cmu.edu
Message-ID: <000901c4d800$aba76350$2200a8c0@katiamobile2>

 Thanks for starting this discussion. It is very healthy.


A few quick thoughts and points of information in response to thoughts by
Josh, Evan and others in this discussion.


The question was why OWL-S has not had as much traction as rdf or OWL. One
of the answers is indeed that OWL-S is newer than OWL (and of course rdf)
and is not (yet) a standard.


Note, however, that there are many different tools that have been developed
for developing Semantic Web Services using OWL-S.

Most of them are in daml.org/services and on semWebcentral.


In addition, please find numerous on OWL-S work in www.daml.org/services.

My group's publications and project descriptions are in


My group at CMU recently released in semWebCentral




an end-to-end development environment based on Eclipse that supports the
developer of services, who starts with java code, translates to wsdl, then
from wsdl to owl-s, provides editing tools for the programmer to edit the
various components of owl-s, (profile, process model and grounding) and
provide support in the service advertising in a semantic UDDI, generating
the client and invoking the service. Please download it and use it and give
us feedback.


This is not a totally automated process, but provides tools to support the
programmer. So, the point of semantic web services is not to have some magic
bullet where everything is done automatically.


Another point is that the strategy of the OWL-S coalition (ie the group that
developed OWL-S) is "Complete, do not compete"). So, as far as industry
standards is concerned, the OWL-S Grounding is layered on top of WSDL and
SOAP (by intention) so as to enable extension and enrichment of current
standards rather than competition. Another example in this vein is the CMU
OWL-S Matchmaker, which enriches UDDI matching with semantic matching.
Another interesting thing to note with respect to standards is that in the
UDDI Technical committee, there is serious discussion about adopting OWL for
representing product hierarchies in UDDI and also defining a semantic search
functionality for searching these hierarchies in UDDI. 


Another point is that OWL-S is a community effort. So, we would like others
not only to use our tools and give us feedback but also to build upon our


It seems to me that there is realization in industry that semantics is
needed and could be useful. Of course, it takes time for specs and new
technologies to be read, understood, absorbed and adopted. It is a humbling
thought (for the impatient) to know that it took 20 years to perfect the
design of the common paper clip.



Dr. Katia Sycara

Member of the OWL-S coalition

School of Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon University



-----Original Message-----
From: public-sws-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-sws-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Camara Melgosa, Javier
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 9:30 AM
To: public-sws-ig@w3.org
Cc: joshgrob@comcast.net
Subject: RE: Discussion: OWL-S and Industry Adoption


Hi. I subscribed today to the list. I am working in a EU-funded project (
<http://www.eu-domain.eu.com/> http://www.eu-domain.eu.com) in which we
expect to use some semantic web services technologies, besides semantic
search. And I can talk about the issues we have with adoption of SWS

(If you prefer replies by using ">" quotes instead of by appending the
replied message at the end, tell me so)

For one thing, as you said, the "syntactic web services" layer is not yet
complete, being a lot WS-* activity out there and many non-semantic issues
still to solve about orchestration, transactions, etc. So it is not so
strange that semantics is delayed. 

Besides, this kind of automated, intelligent, magic bullet things sparkle
quite skepticism in the market, given the usual over-hype of technologies
and products, and they need of convincent proofs to be believed.

Also, I do not doubt that the industry players (Sun, Microsoft, IBM not
counting Alphaworks, etc) will be in some moment needing the kind of
automatic integration that semantic web services promises, but I really am
not sure whether they will implement it by using W3C semantics (RDF, OWL,
eventually OWL-S) or by other means, less bound to logic computing, like
they did e.g. with WSDL and UDDI. There is a great divide among the industry
and the university, and they are devoted to different and parallel tasks in
the web services area.

Besides, OWL-S is not yet an standard, and in effect the WSMO activity makes
one doubt about which one to choose: OWL-S iss much closer to W3C, but WSMO
seems to have more papers, experiences and examples available. But at any
rate, being both of them so funded in logic computing is somewhat of a
barrier at least for me.

Precisely I am now reviewing the OWL-S specification, along with the WSMO
one, to see which one could suit us better. But I am also thinking on
alternate (i.e. more procedural/OO) ways of doing the kind of integration we
need (more like a corporate-internal one, instead of an Internet-open one).

In fact there are a number of things both from OWL-S and WSMO that I either
do not understand or about which I see no point, and yet other things that I
feel are missing. I hope to be able to clear some of them through this

Javier Cmara (jcamara@softwareag.es)
Software Architect, Software AG Espaa, S.A.
Ronda de la Luna, 22; 28760 Tres Cantos (Spain)
+34 91 807 9400, fax +34 91 807 9447

-----Mensaje original-----
De: public-sws-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-sws-ig-request@w3.org] En
nombre de Chiusano Joseph
Enviado el: mircoles 1 de diciembre de 2004 3:30
Para: joshgrob@comcast.net; public-sws-ig@w3.org
Asunto: RE: Discussion: OWL-S and Industry Adoption

From: public-sws-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:public-sws-ig-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of joshgrob@comcast.net
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 1:25 AM
To: public-sws-ig@w3.org
Subject: Discussion: OWL-S and Industry Adoption

Last week I attended a semantic web seminar hosted by Eric Miller, who is a
Semantic Web Activity Lead for the W3C, and we started to discuss the future
of  OWL-S and why it seemed that the industry (chiefly commercial interests)
have been slow to adopt semantic web services.   


[COMMENT] Part of the reason could be that industry is still in the process
of adopting Web Services from the core perspective (SOAP and WSDL).


Kind Regards,

Joseph Chiusano

Booz Allen Hamilton

Strategy and Technology Consultants to the World 


 By "slow" we were comparing how OWL-S does not seem to have the same
transition from more of a research/academic initiative to more commercial
implemenations as seen with RDF and OWL.  As such we figured it would be
best to open up a discussion as to why this is, and how to spur the
transition as well as to allow people to comment freely on OWL-S.  Here is a
list a questions and statements that may help jumpstart the conversation:


This OWL-S standard is still a W3C submission.  Is it still to early to
discuss the viability of OWL-S before it becomes a recommendation?  Perhaps
many are still trying to digest the specifications?


Are there not enough concrete examples/documentation for users to follow,
and help expose the benefit of semantically describing a web service?


Are the good examples that do exist not given enough publicity, and a
convenient way to search for them?


Are there not enough tools to help automate the process of semantically
describing a web service?


Are there other standards or emerging technologies that overlap with OWL-S,
and lessen its importance?



These are just a few questions to start on, but please feel free to comment
on any aspect of this topic.  The goal is to create some excitement, and
realization of the importance of OWL-S.  Thanks for your time, and thoughts


Josh Grob

BBN Technologies

Software Engineer

10 Moulton Street

Cambridge, MA 02138



Received on Wednesday, 1 December 2004 23:52:15 UTC

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