A Survey of Web Services Provision

A Survey of Web Services Provision

An Liu (University of Science & Technology of China, CityU-USTC Advanced Research Institute and City University of Hong Kong, China), Hai Liu (University of Science & Technology of China, CityU-USTC Advanced Research Institute and City University of Hong Kong, China), Baoping Lin (University of Science & Technology of China, CityU-USTC Advanced Research Institute and City University of Hong Kong, China), Liusheng Huang (University of Science & Technology of China and CityU-USTC Advanced Research Institute, China), Naijie Gu (University of Science & Technology of China and CityU-USTC Advanced Research Institute, China) and Qing Li (CityU-USTC Advanced Research Institute and City University of Hong Kong, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1767-4.ch002
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Abstract

Web services technologies promise to create new business applications by composing existing services and to publish these applications as services for further composition. The business logic of applications is described by abstract processes consisting of tasks which specify the required functionality. Web services provision refers to assigning concrete Web services to perform the constituent tasks of abstract processes. It describes a promising scenario where Web services are dynamically chosen and invoked according to their up-to-date functional and non-functional capabilities. It introduces many challenging problems and has therefore received much attention. In this article, the authors provide a comprehensive overview of current research efforts. The authors divide the lifecycle of Web services provision into three steps: service discovery, service selection, and service contracting. They also distinguish three types of Web services provision according to the functional relationship between services and tasks: independent provision, cooperative provision and multiple provision. Following this taxonomy, we investigate existing works in Web services provision, discuss open problems, and shed some light on potential research directions.
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Motivating Example

To illustrate Web services provision and provide application requirements for the research issues that we focus on in this survey, we describe here a classic scenario – travel agency – in which a customer makes a plan for his trip through a travel agent.

Suppose Bob wants to plan a trip with his family to celebrate his birthday. At first, he and his family come to an agreement that the scenic spot should be close to mountains and not be too hot, and they can go there directly by plane. Then, Bob sends a travel agent these requirements based on which candidate scenic spots can be searched. After finding these scenic spots, the agent contacts a flight company to see whether enough tickets are available. If not, it notifies Bob the unfortunate result; otherwise, it tells Bob to select and confirm one scenic spot and corresponding flight tickets. As soon as Bob acknowledges the initial plan, the agent starts to confirm the expected flight. After that, it reserves hotel rooms nearby and tickets for the scenic spot. Finally, Bob is informed of the plan details including flight tickets, scenic spot tickets, and hotel rooms.

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