Capabilities: Describing What Services Can Do

  • Phillipa Oaks
  • Arthur H. M. ter Hofstede
  • David Edmond
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2910)


The ability of agents and services to automatically locate and interact with unknown partners is a goal for both the semantic web and web services. This, “serendipitous interoperability”, is hindered by the lack of an explicit means of describing what services (or agents) are able to do, that is, their capabilities. At present, informal descriptions of what services can do are found in “documentation” elements; or they are somehow encoded in operation names and signatures. We show, by reference to existing service examples, how ambiguous and imprecise capability descriptions hamper the attainment of automated interoperability goals in the open, global web environment. In this paper we propose a structured, machine readable description of capabilities, which may help to increase the recall and precision of service discovery mechanisms. Our capability description draws on previous work in capability and process modeling and allows the incorporation of external classification schemes. The capability description is presented as a conceptual meta model. The model supports conceptual queries and can be used as an extension to the DAML-S Service Profile.


Noun Phrase Service Capability Conceptual Query Ontological Description Ontological Source 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phillipa Oaks
    • 1
  • Arthur H. M. ter Hofstede
    • 1
  • David Edmond
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Information Technology Innovation – Faculty of Information TechnologyQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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