The Internet Reasoning Service
Taking Semantic Web Services Seriously
Prof. Enrico Motta, Prof John Domingue, Dr. Liliana Cabral

This event took place on 9th April 2003 at 12:30pm (11:30 GMT)
Knowledge Media Institute, Berrill Building, The Open University, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, MK7 6AA

The web is not only transforming work-practices, consumer behaviour, and the way we access information, but it is also changing the way systems are built.? Slowly, we are moving from the world of closed, standalone, centralised applications, to one of open, distributed, interoperating, web-accessible services. Current web services are however limited. If one knows where they are, what they do, and how to invoke them, then it is possible to execute and compose them with other web services, using ad hoc methods. However, this approach is time-consuming and does not scale up to large distributed applications. Essentially the effort needed to integrate N services grows exponentially with N. Therefore, in the past few years, in parallel with the ongoing work on the semantic web, researchers have started to work on semantic web services: web services augmented with formal descriptions of their competence.

In this talk we illustrate our work on the Internet Reasoning Service, a software infrastructure which provides a number of tools to support the publication, location, composition and execution of heterogeneous web services, specified using semantic web technology. The IRS has a number of features which distinguish it from other work on semantic web services:

-????It provides support for multiple publishing platforms (currently Java, Java Web Services, and Lisp);
-????It allows users to publish software code very easily, by automatically generating wrappers which transform code into services;

-????It builds on a flexible framework for knowledge reuse, derived from knowledge modelling research, thus allowing for capability-driven service invocation and for flexible mappings between services and problem specifications;

- ???It supports dynamic, knowledge-based service selection;
-????It is integrated with existing web service platforms, so that IRS services appear as semantic services to the IRS and as 'ordinary' web services to non-IRS compliant platforms.

In the talk we will present the main features of the IRS and we will then show a demonstration of a distributed application in the healthcare domain, built using the IRS.

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