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A Clustering Based Approach for Facilitating Semantic Web Service Discovery

Ram, Sudha, Hwang, Yousub and Zhao, Huimin, "A Clustering Based Approach for Facilitating Semantic Web Service Discovery" (March 2006). 15th Annual Workshop on Information Technolgies & Systems (WITS) Paper Available at SSRN:


    The World Wide Web is transitioning from being a mere collection of documents that contain useful information toward providing a collection of services that perform useful tasks. The emerging Web service technology has been envisioned as the next technological wave and is expected to play an important role in this recent transformation of the Web. By providing interoperable interface standards for application-to-application communication, Web services can be combined with component based software development to promote application interaction and integration both within and across enterprises. To make Web services for service-oriented computing operational, it is important that Web service repositories not only be well-structured but also provide efficient tools for developers to find reusable Web service components that meet their needs. As the potential of Web services for service-oriented computing is being widely recognized, the demand for effective Web service discovery mechanisms is concomitantly growing. A number of techniques for Web service discovery have been proposed, but the discovery challenge has not been satisfactorily addressed. Unfortunately, most existing solutions are either too rudimentary to be useful or too domain dependent to be generalizable.

    In this paper, we propose a Web service discovery approach that combines clustering techniques with string matching and leverages the semantics of the XML-based service specification in WSDL documents. We believe that this is one of the first attempts at applying data mining techniques in the Web service discovery domain. Our proposed approach has several appealing features: (1) It minimizes the requirement of prior knowledge from both service consumers and publishers; (2) It avoids exploiting domain dependent ontologies; and (3) It is able to visualize the semantic relationships among Web services. We have developed a Web service discovery tool based on the proposed approach using an unsupervised artificial neural network and empirically evaluated the proposed approach and tool using real Web service descriptions drawn from operational Web service registries. We report on some preliminary results demonstrating the efficacy of the proposed approach.

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