The METEOR-S framework for semantic Web process composition
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The Web services have been recognized to have the potential to revolutionize e-commerce. The potential for businesses to be able to interact with each other on the fly is very appealing. To date, however, the activity of creating Web processes using Web services has been handled mostly at the syntactic level. Current composition standards focus on building the process based on the interface description of the participating services. The limitation of a rigid approach is that it does not allow businesses to dynamically change partners and services. We enhance the current process composition techniques by using Semantic Process Templates to capture the semantic requirements of the process. The semantic process templates can act as configurable modules for common industry practices maintaining the semantics of the participating activities, control flow, intermediate calculations, conditional branches and exposing it in a industry accepted interface. The templates are instantiated to form executable processes according to the semantics of the corresponding templates. The use of ontologies in template definition allows much richer description of activity requirements and a more effective way of locating services to carry out the activities in the executable Web process. During discovery of services we consider not only functionality, but also the quality of the services. Our unique approach combines the expressive power of the present Web service composition standards and the advantages of the semantic Web techniques for template definition and service discovery. The prototype implementation of the framework for building the templates and generating the processes is discussed.