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DIP - Data, Information, and Process Integration with Semantic Web Services

DIP's objective has been that of developing and extending Semantic Web and Web Service technologies in order to produce a new technology infrastructure for Semantic Web Services (SWS) - an environment in which different web services can discover and cooperate with each other automatically. DIP's long term mission was to deliver the enormous potential benefits of Semantic Web Services to e-Work and e-Commerce.

Impact

The impact of DIP can be summarised as follows ('4 golden bullets'):

  • Open Source Architecture for Semantic Web Services
  • Real Use Case Implementations of SWS in different sectors:
    • B2B in Telecoms - Telecommunications sector
    • Intelligent Information Management and EAI - e-Government sector
    • Dynamic & Smart e-business - e-Banking sector
  • Development and implementation of exploitable tools and methods ? WSLX, IRSIII, WSMO Studio, Hybrid Reasoning tool, Ontology Management Suite
  • Impact on International Standards through W3C, OASIS Semantic Execution Environment (SEE) Technical Committee
DIP's main innovation

The main innovations emerging from the project will be those addressing the 4 major challenges of DIP:

Information Management challenge : DIP looked to develop and employ Semantic Web Service technology to allow structural and semantic definitions of documents providing completely new possibilities: Intelligent search instead of keyword matching, query answering instead of information retrieval, document exchange between departments via ontology translations, definition of views on documents providing personalization and contextualization of information.

Enterprise Application Integration challenge : DIP aimed at developing a successful integration strategy that combines the advantages of ad-hoc and global integration strategies. In consequence, DIP adopted the following goals, which are essential ingredients for successful integration:

  • Purpose-driven : Business needs should drive the integration process. We need to identify the major integration needs in terms of business processes and available information sources.
  • Extendable : We used ontologies to avoid ad-hoc integration. We used ontologies for publishing information regarding data sources and for aligning it with business needs, thus ensuring they can be extended to new and changing business needs.
  • Reusable : We used Web Service technology to reflect further integration needs based on standardization. Ontologies provided extendable integration solutions.
  • Flexibility : Integration efforts reflected fixed integration needs that are internal to organisations.
eCommerce challenge

The huge potential of "new" Commerce : Web-enabled eCommerce needs to be accessible to large numbers of suppliers and buyers. Its success is closely related to its ability to mediate a large number of business transactions:

  • Openness : eCommerce cannot be achieved without standardization, a lesson that can readily be learnt from the Web. This will require standardization of the actual content and business logics that are exchanged, which goes far beyond the requirement of standardizing protocols and document layouts. DIP is developing solutions that will make significant contributions to this area.
  • Flexibility : It is unlikely that any one standard will arise that covers all aspect of eCommerce that will be acceptable in all vertical markets and all cultural contexts, nor would such a standard free us from the need to provide user specific views and the content represented.
  • The Dynamics of eCommerce will require standards that develop almost as 'living entities'. Products, services, and trading modes are subject to high turnover rates. DIP will develop, in its e-Banking case study, financial services that can be discovered, composed and invoked dynamically to build complex composite services.
Real world case-studies

DIP is addressed one of the critical success factors in the market take-up of Semantic Web Services as an infrastructure to create practical solutions to real-world business challenges. Case studies have been an integral part of the project and involved many different aspects including, business problem definition, technology development, evaluation, and demonstrations. The three case studies addressed in the DIP project were in e-Banking (Bankinter), e-Government (Essex County Council) and in Telecommunication a B2B case study (BT).

Results

Open source Semantic Web Services Architecture . One of the key public deliverables of DIP was the open source Semantic Web Service Architecture that is WSMX .

Exploitable tools . The tools used in implementing and realising parts of the overall architecture emerged as work progressed. The current list of tools can be found here . These can become exploitable on a large scale for the DIP partners. This approach ensures real impact - in combination with the WSMX open source architecture.

Standards . A major standards proposal in the area of Semantic Web Services has been submitted to W3C. The submission for a Web Services Modeling Ontology (WSMO) to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is a comprehensive framework for addressing Semantic Web services challenges and it is designed to help overcome the current problems of Enterprise

Application Integration (EAI) and Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) ( PDF ). DIP partners (NUIG, UIBK and OU) have been instrumental in setting up the new OASIS Semantic Execution Environment (SEE) Technical Committee. The SEE Committee will develop guidelines, justifications, and implementation directions for an execution environment for Semantic Web services. These services would be built upon the Semantic Web stack as standardized at the WWW Consortium (W3C), with the goal of being introduced into the W3C's Semantic Web Infrastructure.

Prizes . A paper by Boris Motik of the University of Karlsruhe describing some of the reasoning work going on in DIP won best paper prize at this year's International Semantic Web Conference. The paper titled "On the Properties of Metamodelling in OWL" outlined the computational properties of metamodelling in OWL-Full and proposes two alternatives with contextual and HiLog semantics.

More details
Administrative Details
  • DIP is an Integrated Project (no. FP6 - 507483) supported by the European Union's IST programme.
  • It started in January 2004 and has a duration of 36 months.
  • It has a total funding of ?16.3 M.
List of Participants
National University of Ireland Galway - DERI National University of Ireland Galway - DERI Ireland
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) Switzerland
University of Innsbruck (UIBK) University of Innsbruck (UIBK) Austria
British Telecommunications British Telecommunications UK
ILOG ILOG France
SAP SAP Germany
FZI Karlsruhe FZI Karlsruhe Germany
NIWA WEB Solutions NIWA WEB Solutions Austria
The Open University, KMI The Open University, KMI UK
Vrije Universiteit Brussels Vrije Universiteit Brussels Belgium
Inubit Inubit Germany
iSOCO iSOCO Spain
Unicorn Solutions Unicorn Solutions Israel
Bankinter Bankinter Spain
Essex County Council Essex County Council UK
Berlecon Research Berlecon Research Germany
OntoText OntoText Bulgaria
Contact Persons
Project Coordinator: Dr. Sigurd Harand
DERI
E-mail: (email removed)
Scientific Director: Dr. John Domingue
Open University
Email: (email removed)
Events in connection with DIP

DIP has participated in over 20 International Conferences and Workshops in the last year.

The project has had over 50 papers accepted and published at these events.

Of particular note: