Semantic Web Services

Tutorial at the 21st National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2006)

AAAI 2006 Tutorial MAP 4


The tutorial presents the state of the art in the emerging concept of Semantic Web services. The initial Web service technology stack around SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI has significant deficiencies, especially with respect to automated discovery, composition, and usage of Web services. In order to overcome this, semantically enabled technologies are developed on basis of exhaustive frameworks and ontologies as the underlying data model. Thereby, Semantic Web services provide an integrated technology for realizing the vision of the Semantic Web by turning the Web from a world-wide infrastructure for information consumption and exchange by humans towards a Web for distributed computation along with semantic interoperability.

The aim of the tutorial is to make attendees familiar with the idea and concepts of Semantic Web services and to present the most recent technology developments. Commencing from the vision and arising challenges for Semantic Web Services, the tutorial in detail explains the most prominent frameworks for Semantic Web Services, introduces techniques, tools, and systems for Semantic Web Services, and completes with a hands-on session wherein attendees practically model and use Semantic Web services.


Semantic Web services, Semantic Web, Web services, ontologies, automated Web service discovery / composition / execution


The following provides the material for the tutorial for download. This consists of the slide set, and a software package that will be used during the practical hands-on session. We encourage attendees to download the material, for taken notes during the tutorial and to actively participate in the practical part.

Slide Set


Software for Hands-On Session

Download of software package for the hands-on session: [70 MB ZIP archive]
Installation and instructions for the hands-on session are available at: [also in the ZIP Archive]

Presenters and Experience

The tutorial is presented by experts in Semantic Web services that have been engaged in Semantic Web services from early on in European and intercontinental research (see presenter information below). It builds upon experience several preceding tutorials that have been presented at respective international events in the past 2 years, e.g.: 2004 international conferences: AIMSA, Net Object Days, ISWC; 2005 international conferences: ESWC, ICAC, ICWS, ICWE, ISWC; 2006 conferences: HICSS, ICIS, ESWC, CSWWS, AAAI; detailed information on all previous tutorials can be found at:

We have gained exhaustive experience in structuring tutorials with respect to the respective audience, and continuously receive very positive feedback from attendees on the insights gained in challenges and frameworks for Semantic Web service, the existences of tools and system implementations, and the well presentation style our tutorials. While previous mainly focused on the motivation, challenges, framework and design of central techniques for the emerging concept of Semantic Web services, we assume that potential attendees are familiar with this – at least to a limited extent. Hence, we have significantly shortened the introduction and instead focus on the relationship between existing frameworks and technologies in detail, as well as the ongoing work within standardization bodies. Also, we provide a significantly enhanced hands-on session on basis of integrating the WSMX and IRS systems. In comparison to previous tutorials (our own as well as to tutorials given by other parties), this hands-on session will allow attendees to really grasp what Semantic Web services are by “getting their hands dirty” with appropriate technology environments and tutor assistance.

Michael Stollberg Michael Stollberg
DERI Austria
University of Innsbruck
Technikerstr. 21a
A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Michael Stollberg is a researcher with the Digital Enterprise Research Institute DERI, working in the area of Semantic Web Services. He has published around 25 scientific articles in the area, and is responsible for a series of over 15 tutorials at international events. Michael Stollberg is a founding member of the WSMO working group and workpackage manager in the DIP project. DERI
Emilia Cimpian Emilia Cimpian
DERI Austria
University of Innsbruck
Technikerstr. 21a
A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Emilia Cimpian is a researcher with the Digital Enterprise Research Institute DERI. She is working in the area of Semantic Web Services, focusing on development of Semantic Web Services Technologies. Emilia is a founding member of Web Service Execution Environment (WSMX), her main interest being the development of a process mediation framework as part of WSMX.

John Domingue

John Domingue
Deputy Director
Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University
Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK6 7AA

Dr. John Domingue is the Deputy Director of the Knowledge Media Institute at The Open University, UK. He has published over 80 refereed articles in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interaction; he is involved in a number of projects and is currently a Co Principle Investigator on the UK EPSRC funded Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT) project, the Scientific Director of the EU funded Integrated Project on Semantic Web Services DIP, and a chair of the WSMO working group. This year he will act as Director for the 2006 Knowledge Web Summer School on Ontological Engineering and the Semantic web, Chair the European Semantic Web Conference and the Artificial Intelligence, Methods and Systems conference. Dr. Domingue is a co-Chair of the OASIS technical committee on Semantic Execution Environments. KMI
Liliana Cabral

Liliana Cabral
Research Fellow
Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University
Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK6 7AA

Liliana Cabral is a research fellow at the Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University, where she has been employed since September, 2002. Her main research focuses on the design and implementation of IRS-II, a framework for Semantic Web Services. Previous projects include MIAKT where knowledge technologies from the AKT project were combined with medical imaging technology and GRID services to support the diagnosis of breast cancer. She is currently a member of the EU-framework 6 project DIP.


Objectives and Outline

The tutorial consists of five main sections that subsequently provide a complete overview of Semantic Web Services and the latest status related technology developments. The tutorial will be centered around the Web Service Modeling Ontology WSMO an established framework which all the presenters have contributed to, and then discuss differences and commonalities with other efforts. The tutorial parts will be presented in order explained below.

To achieve the results of the tutorial for attendees as outlined, the tutorial is presented as a full day event. While the morning will cover the theoretical aspects, the afternoon session will be dedicated to the practical hands-on session along with tools and system presentations. Established theories of learning, 30 years of research at the Open University, and our own experience in previous tutorials indicate that learning-by-doing is the best way to fully learn about semantic web technologies.

Morning Session

1. Introduction to Semantic Web Services

This section introduces the idea and challenges of Semantic Web Services, as the basis of the subsequent sections comprising the following aspects:

2. Semantic Web Services Frameworks

In order to provide sophisticated solutions for Semantic Web Services, technologies need to be positioned in an overall framework. Currently OWL-S and the Web Service Modeling Ontology WSMO represent the most significant conceptual models for Semantic Web Services; both are complementary and together provide a promising basis for Semantic Web Services. This section introduces both frameworks with regard to:

3. Semantic Techniques for Web Services

On basis of the preceding parts, concrete approaches and solutions for specific Semantic Web Service technologies are presented. This part is comprised of the most recent results from different research and development efforts. It encompasses solutions for:

4. Market Prospects and Standardization

Semantics and Web services are considered as the basis for the next generation of IT systems. As the first set of research results have been released, attention arises within industry for settling in future markets. Concurrently, in order to provide a sound technical basis for future product development and market adoption, standardization efforts commence for Semantic Web and for Semantic Web services. Completing the theoretic part of the tutorial, we an overview on this, including:

Afternoon Session

5. Semantic Web Service Tools and Systems

On basis of the theoretical background provided in the previous sections, this part of the tutorial presents selected tools and systems for handling and using Semantic Web Services. In particular, the tools for the following operations are presented:

6. Hands-On Session

As the final part of the tutorial, attendees practically create and work with Semantic Web Services on basis of the techniques and systems presented in the previous tutorial parts. Experience in previous tutorials has proven this section as very helpful for attendees, as the most you learn we you actually do it yourself. The hands-on session is run in small working groups of attendees that are lead by one presenter and is structured as follows:

In order to actively participate in the hands-on session, we request attendees to download and install the software package provided above (see Material)

Time Allocation and Pre-Requisites

The tutorial will be presented as a full day event. The following table provides the planned time schedule.

Time Content
09.00 Start, welcome
09.00 – 09.30 Section 1: Introduction to Semantic Web Services
09.30 – 10.30 Section 2: Semantic Web Services Frameworks
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee break
11.00 – 12.30 Section 3: Semantic Techniques for Web Services
12.30 – 13.00 Section 4: Market Prospects and Standardization
12.30 – 14.00 lunch
14.00 – 15.30 Section 5: Semantic Web Service Tools and Systems
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee break
16.00 – 18.00 Section 6: Hands-On Session
18.00 wrap-up, closing

The tutorial addresses academic as well as industrial researches and developers that are working with Web technologies in general and have specific interests in Web services and the Semantic Web.

Attendees will gain a detailed understanding of the aims and challenges of Semantic Web services, understand the design and specification of overall frameworks, get to know existing tools and implementations for Semantic Web Services, and be able to apply and assess most recent Semantic Web Service technologies to their specific work or project.

Although no specific knowledge is demanded as a pre-requisite for attending the tutorial, basic knowledge about ontologies and Web Services will allow attendees to better understand and follow the tutorial.


The work is funded by the European Commission under the projects DIP, Knowledge Web, InfraWebs, SEKT, SWWS, ASG and Esperonto; by Science Foundation Ireland under the DERI-Lion project; by the FIT-IT (Forschung, Innovation, Technologie - Informationstechnologie) under the projects RW2 and TSC.