A Semi-automated Orchestration Tool for Service-Based Business Processes

  • Jan Schaffner
  • Harald Meyer
  • Cafer Tosun
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4652)


When creating service compositions from a very large number of atomic service operations, it is inherently difficult for the modeler to discover suitable operations for his particular goal. Automated service composition claims to solve this problem, but only works if complete and correct ontologies alongside with service descriptions are in place.

In this paper, we present a semi-automated modeling environment for Web service compositions. At every step in the process of creating the composition, the environment suggests the modeler a number of relevant Web services. Furthermore, the environment summarizes the problems that would prevent the composed service from being invocable. The environment is also able to insert composed services into the composition at suitable places, with atomic services producing the required data artifacts to come to an invocable composition.

Our results show that this mixed initiative approach significantly eases the creation of composed services. We validated our implementation with the leading vendor of business applications, using their processes and service repository, which spans across multiple functional areas of enterprise computing.


Service Composition Service Operation Variable Binding Business Process Modeling Notation Invocable Service 
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.


  1. 1.
    Zeng, L., Benatallah, B., Lei, H., Ngu, A.H.H., Flaxer, D., Chang, H.: Flexible Composition of Enterprise Web Services. Electronic Markets 13 (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pistore, M., Barbon, F., Bertoli, P., Shaparau, D., Traverso, P.: Planning and Monitoring Web Service Composition. In: Bussler, C.J., Fensel, D. (eds.) AIMSA 2004. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3192, pp. 106–115. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Sirin, E., Parsia, B., Wu, D., Hendler, J., Nau, D.: HTN Planning for Web Service Composition Using SHOP2. Journal of Web Semantics 1, 377–396 (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Meyer, H., Weske, M.: Automated Service Composition using Heuristic Search. In: Dustdar, S., Fiadeiro, J.L., Sheth, A. (eds.) BPM 2006. LNCS, vol. 4102, pp. 81–96. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schaffner, J.: Supporting the Modeling of Business Processes Using Semi-Automated Web Service Composition Techniques. Master’s thesis, Hasso-Plattner-Institute for IT Systems Engineering, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany (2006)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    White, S.A.: Business Process Modeling Notation, Working Draft (1.0). Technical report, The Business Process Modeling Initiative (2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Schaffner, J., Meyer, H.: Mixed Initiative Use Cases For Semi-Automated Service Composition: A Survey (located at ICSE 2006). In: IW-SOSE 2006. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Service Oriented Software Engineering, Shanghai, China, May 27–28, 2006, ACM Press, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    van der Aalst, W.M.: Verification of Workflow Nets. In: Azéma, P., Balbo, G. (eds.) ICATPN 1997. LNCS, vol. 1248, pp. 407–426. Springer, Heidelberg (1997)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kim, J., Spraragen, M., Gil, Y.: An Intelligent Assistant for Interactive Workflow Composition. In: IUI 2004. Proceedings of the 9th international conference on Intelligent user interface, pp. 125–131. ACM Press, New York (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sirin, E., Parsia, B., Hendler, J.: Filtering and Selecting Semantic Web Services with Interactive Composition Techniques. IEEE Intelligent Systems 19, 42–49 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hakimpour, F., Sell, D., Cabral, L., Domingue, J., Motta, E.: Semantic Web Service Composition in IRS-III: The Structured Approach. In: CEC 2005. 7th IEEE International Conference on E-Commerce Technology, München, Germany, pp. 484–487. IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Myers, K.L., et al.: PASSAT: A User-centric Planning Framework. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International NASA Workshop on Planning and Scheduling for Space, Houston, TX, AAAI Press, Stanford, California (2002)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tate, A.: Generating Project Networks. In: Proceedings of the Fifth Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Cambridge, MA, pp. 888–893. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco (1977)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Schaffner
    • 1
  • Harald Meyer
    • 1
  • Cafer Tosun
    • 2
  1. 1.Hasso-Plattner-Institute for IT-Systems-Engineering at the University of Potsdam, Prof.-Dr.-Helmert-Strasse 2-3, 14482 PotsdamGermany
  2. 2.SAP Labs, Inc., 3421 Hillview Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304USA

Personalised recommendations