UML-based Modeling of Semantic Web Service Descriptions


Possible supervisor: Heiner Stuckenschmidt


Project Description

Web services are gaining importance in the area of e-commerce as a flexible architecture for integrating the functionality of different systems and system components. Connecting different services requires some information about their functionality, the required inputs and generated outputs. So-called web service description languages (for example WSDL) have been developed for representing such descriptions. Most of these languages, however, only describe services on the structural level by defining in- and output data structures. These kinds of descriptions provide little information about the actual functionality of a service and the correct interpretation of its output that is often influenced by the way the service is implemented.

The DAML-S language is an attempt to overcome this problem by combining conventional web service description languages with richer semantic descriptions of functionality, in- and outputs of web service. The language is based on semantic web technologies — in particular it uses the web ontology language for describing parts of the semantics. The relation between the web ontology language and the Unified modeling language UML has been investigated recently, however, all current approaches are restricted to the static part of UML (mostly the class diagrams). Other UML diagrams that describe the functionality of software that is not considered so far.

The question to be addressed in this thesis is about the relation between that parts of UML that describe the system functionality and the DAML-S language. The goal is to find out whether UML models can be translated into DAML-S in such a way that the result can be used for semi automatic service discovery and matching. More generally, the question to be answered is whether UML can be used to model semantic web service descriptions.

The candidate should have some understanding of formal descriptions of system dynamics or at least have a good general mathematical understanding. Experiences with UML and web service description languages are useful but not necessary.