Agent-based Semantic Web Services

Nicholas Gibbins, Stephen Harris, Nigel Shadbolt


The Web Services world consist of loosely-coupled distributed systems which adapt to changes by the use of service descriptions that enable ad-hoc, opportunistic service discovery and reuse. At present, these service descriptions are semantically improverished, being concerned with describing the functional signature of the services rather than characterising their meaning. In the Semantic Web community, the DAML Services effort attempts to rectify this by providing a more expressive way of describing Web services using ontologies. However, this approach does not separate the domain-neutral communicative intent of a message from its domain-specific content, unlike similar developments from the multi-agent systems community. We describe our experiences of designing and building an ontologically motivated Web Services system for situational awareness and information triage in a simulated humanitarian aid scenario. In particular, we discuss the merits of using techniques from the multi-agent systems community for separating the intentional force of messages from their content, and the implementation of these techniques within the DAML Services model.

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Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: Web Services; Semantic Web; DAML-S; Agent Communication; Languages; Ontologies
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