An Integrated Formal Approach to Semantic Work Environments Design

An Integrated Formal Approach to Semantic Work Environments Design

Hai H. Wang (University of Southampton, UK), Nicholas Gibbins (National University of Singapore, Singapore), Jin Song Dong (The University of Auckland, New Zealand), Yuan Fang Li (University of Southampton, UK), Jing Sun (University of Southampton, UK), Jeff Pan (National University of Singapore, Singapore) and Terry R. Payne (University of Aberdeen, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-877-2.ch015
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The Semantic Web (Berners-Lee, Hendler, & Lassila, 2001) has become increasingly significant as it proposes an evolution of the current World Wide Web from a web of documents to a distributed and decentralised, global knowledge-base. Based on the notion of interlinked resources grounded within formally defined ontologies, it promises to be an enabling technology for the automation of many Web-based tasks, by facilitating a shared understanding of a domain through inference over shared knowledge models. Semantic Work Environment (SWE) applications use Semantic Web techniques to support the work of the user by collecting knowledge about the current needs in a specific activity, and providing both inferred and augmented knowledge that can then be integrated into current work. Web Services have emerged as distributed, heterogeneous software components that provide machine access to the services otherwise offered on the Web through Web pages. Built upon defacto Web standards for syntax, communication protocols, and markup languages such as XML, Web services provide a near ubiquitous mechanism for communication between applications and agents. In addition, such services can be composed to provide additional functionality, thus facilitating the rapid construction of new services. However, the dynamic use of services is limited by the need to agree a-priori upon data models and interface definitions. By coupling Web service technology with Semantic Web technology, Semantic Web Services can partially relax these constraints, both in the dynamic use of services, and in the data models shared by such services. Several examples of such services have been developed, for example, the ITTALKS services (Cost, Finin, & Joshi, 2002), which are considered in this chapter.

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