Two main challenges in service description : Web service tunnel vision and semantic myopia

Edmond, David, O'Sullivan, Justin, & ter Hofstede, Arthur (2005) Two main challenges in service description : Web service tunnel vision and semantic myopia. In Bournez, C. (Ed.) Proceedings of W3C Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services, W3C, Austria, Innsbruck, pp. 1-5.

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Through media such as newspapers, letterbox flyers, corporate brochures and television we are regularly confronted with descriptions for conventional (bricks 'n' mortar style) services. These representations vary in the terminology utilised, the depth of the description, the aspects of the service that are characterised and their applicability to candidate service requestors. Existing service catalogues (such as the Yellow Pages) provide little relief for service requestors from the burdensome task of discovering, comparing and substituting services. Add to this environment the rapidly evolving area of web services with its associated surfeit of standards, and the result is a considerably fragmented approach to the description of services. It leaves the reality of the Semantic Web somewhat clouded. --------- Let's consider service description briefly, before discussing our concerns with existing approaches to description. The act of describing is performed prior to advertising. This simple fact provides an interesting paradox as services cannot be described exactly before advertisement. This doesn't mean they can't be described comprehensively. By "exactly", we are referring to the fact that context provided by a service requestor (and their service needs) will alter the description of the service that is presented to the discoverer. For example, a service provider who operates a cinema wants to describe the price of their service. Let's say the advertised price is $15. They also want to state that a pensioner discount and a student discount is available which provides a 50% discount. A customer (i.e. service requestor) uses the cinema web site to purchase tickets online. They find the movie of their choice at a time that suits. However, its not until some context is provided by the requestor that the exact price is determined. The requestor might state that they are a pensioner. The same is applicable for a service requestor who purchases multiple tickets perhaps on behalf of other people. The disconnect between when the service is described and when a requestor provides context introduces challenges to the description process. A service provider would be ill-advised to offer independent descriptions that represent all the permutations possible for a single service. The descriptive effort would be prohibitive.

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ID Code: 25685
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Tunnel Vision, Semantic Myopia, Service Disruption
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Deposited On: 17 Jun 2009 15:21
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:12

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