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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Service Description Ontologies

Service Description Ontologies
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Author(s): Julia Kantorovitch (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland) and Eila Niemelä (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch547


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Services can be Internet-based e-commerce services, business services that abstract company-level interactions, or any other software services that are provided by surrounding devices that are mobile or embedded in nearly any type of physical environment (e.g., home, office, or cars). In brief, services are ubiquitous and executed in heterogeneous environments. Surrounding the definitions and technologies that describe services, there are some important features that are in common. First, services always have some actions that are performed by an entity, possibly on behalf of another. Second, there always exists service interaction, including a service provider, service requestor, and service registry. Finally, services have inherent value that is transferred from the service provider to the service requestor as a result of the service’s execution. To invoke and operate a service in the most efficient way, the service is to be described via essential types of knowledge: a) what the service requires from the user/agent(s) and then provides for them; b) where and when the service is available; c) what quality level is to be guaranteed; d) how to access and interact with the service; and e) what access rights are granted over the service. An accurate service description, including the specifications of functional and nonfunctional properties, benefits and facilitates several important activities, such as service discovery, service composition, and service administration, including the monitoring and controlling of the service’s execution. However, due to the diversity of service contexts, service technologies shall be generic and adaptable to different domains and heterogeneous environments. Service description ontologies solve this problem by enabling a rich representation of services and a common understanding about their respective features. The use of ontologies enables computational entities and services to have a common set of concepts and properties for representing knowledge about a domain of interest. The deployment and customization of existing and emerging service systems can also be considerably facilitated by a common set of ontologies that is developed in order to describe service semantics.

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