Visual Semantic Analysis to Support Semi Automatic Modeling of Service Descriptions
A new trend Web service ecosystems for Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) and Web services is emerging. Services can be offered and traded like products in these ecosystems. The explicit formalization of services' non-functional parameters, e.g. price plans and legal aspects, as Service Descriptions (SD) is one of the main challenges to establish such Web service ecosystems. The manual modeling of Service Descriptions (SDs) is a tedious and cumbersome task. In this thesis, we introduce the innovative approach Visual Semantic Analysis (VSA) to support semi-automatic modeling of service descriptions in Web service ecosystems. This approach combines the semantic analysis and interactive visualization techniques to support the analysis, modeling, and reanalysis of services in an iterative loop. For example, service providers can analyze first the price plans of the already existing services and extract semantic information from them (e.g. cheapest offers and functionalities). Then they can reuse the extracted semantics to model the price plans of their new services. Afterwards, they can reanalyze the new modeled price plans with the already existing services to check their market competitiveness in Web service ecosystems. The experts from different domains, e.g. service engineers, SD modeling experts, and price plan experts, were interviewed in a study to identify the requirements for the VSA approach. These requirements cover aspects related to the analysis of already exiting services and reuse of the analysis results to model new services. Based on the user requirements, we establish a generic process model for the Visual Semantic Analysis. It defines sub processes and transitions between them. Additionally, the technologies used and the data processed in these sub processes are also described. We present also the formal specification of this generic process model that serves as a basis for the conceptual framework of the VSA. A conceptual framework of the VSA elucidates structure and behavior of the Visual Semantic Analysis System. It specifies also system components of the VSA system and interaction between them. Additionally, we present the external interface of the VSA system for the communication with Web service ecosystems. Finally, we present the results of a user study conducted by means of the VSA system that is developed on the base of the VSA conceptual framework. The results of this user study show that the VSA system leads to strongly significant improvement of the time efficiency and offers better support for the analysis, modeling and reanalysis of service descriptions.