OASIS Semantic Execution Environment (SEE) TC

Additional non-normative information, not included in this Charter, may be found in the Call for Participation at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/tc-announce/200510/msg00004.html

a. Name of the TC

OASIS Semantic Execution Environment (SEE) Technical Committee

b. Statement of purpose

The technology of Semantic Web services (SWSs) envisions easy access to various systems and facilitates the consumption of the functionality exposed by these systems on the Web. Seamless integration, ad-hoc cooperation between various business parties or dynamic collaborations on the Web, can be achieved only if tools for handling semantically enhanced services are provided.

The OASIS SEE TC aims to continue work initiated by the WSMX project and working group visible at http://www.wsmx.org and several other projects in Europe such as DIP (http://dip.semanticweb.org/), ASG (http://asg-platform.org/) and other projects in the area of Semantic Web Services which will start in the coming months. The aim of the SEE TC is to provide guidelines, justifications and implementation directions for an execution environment for Semantic Web services. The resulting architecture will incorporate the application of semantics to service-oriented systems and will provide intelligent mechanisms for consuming Semantic Web services.

Service-oriented architectures anticipate a large number of ambient heterogeneous computational services that may be utilized in various combinations. However, a typical composition of services to meet a business goal often is an attempt to coordinate disparate resources from multiple sources -- services that may not know, or fully understand, each other in advance. When planning to invoke multiple services, it is not always readily apparent whether the methods and outputs of one service meet the requirements of another. So some interpretation, mediation or common understanding is essential for any significant deployment. The SEE TC will define methods for using semantic technologies to solve these coordination and automation issues.

The TC also will define the functional components of such an SWS system and the semantics descriptions of these components' interfaces. The TC will also define a formal description of execution semantics of such a system. In addition, the TC will define a generic and open framework, using metadata, to allow for new components to be plugged into the system and made available to the execution engine dynamically. Further, after providing the basic methods described above, or in parallel if appropriate, the SEE TC will seek to develop specifications addressing specific problem sets covering the spectrum from a general purpose environment to a specific business-domain-focused applications addressing financial, telecommunication, military and e-Government applications of Semantic Web Services technologies.

In the course of existing research, it has become clear that Semantic Web services and Grid Computing are closely related research activities with many shared objectives. Both address distributed computing systems from different perspectives and we believe that they should be investigated in parallel as complementary technologies enabling the next era of internet applications. In our vision, the usage of arbitrary resources (physical or logical) for building complex business applications should be simplified, so that their discovery, deployment, composition, provisioning and management, can be performed by the means of semantic-enhanced services. To reach this goal, on the one hand, current Grid technologies need to be extended to support semantically enriched resource descriptions and services, e.g. to simplify their discovery and composition. On the other hand, Semantic Web services technology has to be extended to support resource management, including dynamic provisioning of services and resources, execution management, and support of security-related issues concerning virtual organization management. This TC aims to combine Grid Computing with Semantic Web Services technologies and to take advantage of their different perspectives to provide architecture of the infrastructure for machine-to-machine enabled communication and cooperation.

The SEE TC's efforts will foster compatibility across specifications developed for Semantic Web Services, and where possible re-use existing standards and methods that already have been carried in areas of Semantic Web and Web Services. This TC will engage with industry, academic and research communities to facilitate understanding, awareness and possible collaborations regarding emerging semantic technologies and research applicable to semantically-aware Web Services.

c. Scope.

Initial requirements have indicated that Semantic Web services systems should enable automatic or semi-automatic discovery, negotiation, selection, composition, mediation, invocation and interoperation of multiple services. The SEE TC will assess the subsequent and related works and implementation experience of existing efforts in a variety of sectors (financial, telecommunication, e-health and e-governament) to define and implement these functions related with Semantic Web Services. Based on those experiences, the detailed analysis of requirements for Semantic Web services Architecture will be provided.

The SEE TC will provide a testbed for the Web Services Modeling Ontology (WSMO), which is anticipated as a contribution for use by the TC on a non-exclusive basis, and will seek to demonstrate the viability of using WSMO concepts, relationships and definitions as a means to achieve successful dynamic interoperation of multiple ambient services, whether or not they share a common design or source.

The TC anticipates contribution of the draft WSMX specifications and WSMO ontology on a non-exclusive basis. Other contributions will be accepted for consideration without any prejudice or restrictions, and evaluated on their technical merit, as long as the contributions conform to this charter.

Following a top-down, component based development approach, the TC will provide a whole framework capable of carrying out the dynamic discovery, mediation, selection, invocation and inter-operation of Web Services and any other functionality which will be revealed during the requirements analysis phase. While the focus of this group will remain on a high level semantic description of components interfaces, the TC will seek tight cooperation with any group working on semantics-enabled functional components that fulfill the requirements of such system.

The SEE TC will not implement actual software products or solutions based on the specifications developed along the course of work of this group.

d. Deliverables

OASIS SEE TC will develop two Technical Specifications described below, and also may elect to issue Technical Reports and White Papers:

  • Semantic Web Services Architecture and Information Model -- final version available in December 2007 (the TC may issue intermediate versions as frequently as every 6 months)

  • Services Specification -- Execution Semantics for Semantics-Enabled systems -- final version available in December 2007 (intermediate versions may be available as frequently as every 6 months)

  • Technical Reports will be drafted as appropriate

  • White Papers as appropriate

e. IPR Mode

SEE TC will operate under "RF on Limited Terms" mode.

f. Anticipated audience

The anticipated audience for this work includes all OASIS Web Service and ebXML TCs, non-OASIS Web Service standards groups, Semantic Web Services research and interest groups, SOA architects and programmers, vendors and users. The work should be of interest to anyone involved with Semantic Web Services and more generally also in Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs).

g. Language.

English. The TC may elect to form subcommittees that produce localized documentation of the TC's work in additional languages.