This is the first of the two application talks planned for this week.
The second one will be in class on Thursday. Please make every effort
to attend. -Rao]
The Myth and Reality of Web Services Composition
Dr. Biplav Srivastava
Time: 11AM--12AM; Wednesday April 23rd; BY 510
Divide-and-conquer or working with complex systems from their
basic building blocks is one of the basic tenets of modern engineering.
While its applicability to Information Technology has always been
felt – example Object Oriented Methodology, its success has been
limited. There is a resurgence of interest in componentization of
IT systems and services through focus on Service Oriented Architecture,
and Web Services as its most popular form. Consequently, Web Services
has received wide attention in both academia and IT industry over
the past 5-7 years. The attractiveness of this technology lies in
the fact that the specifications of the building
blocks (i.e., services) are openly available in a registry and
so are the building blocks themselves. So, the promise is that a user
can build (or modify) an application by composing (or re-composing)
components whose specification it discovers from the registry
and whose capabilities it can access whenever needed. Depending on
what is defined as a service, web services composition can enable
many IT issues -- Mashups, Asset Reuse, Business-to-IT alignment,
Business-to-Business and Enterprise Application Integration, ...
In this talk, we will look at where the hardness of automatically
composing web services comes from in practice and how traditional
Computer Science techniques (notably planning) have fared. While
the original myth was that composition would be hard, in reality,
most composition scenarios did not demand scalability of the
top-of-the-line planning algorithms. However, what has turned
out to be harder than composition is how to set up the composition
problem as a traditional Computer Science (notably planning) problem.
Two trends are emerging to address this: the composition problem is
often cast as a plan reuse and modification problem in the context of
richer domain models (e.g., Industry Business Processes), and new
composition/ planning paradigms like model-lite planning which are
resilient to impoverished domain models.
Dr. Biplav Srivastava is a Research Staff Member at IBM Research since
February 2001. Though based at IBM's India Research Laboratory, Biplav
is on assignment to IBM's T.J.Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, NY, USA.
Biplav's research interests are in planning, scheduling, policies,
learning and information management, and their practical applications
in services -- infrastructure and software (web services), semantic web,
autonomic computing and societal domains. Prior to IBM Research, he
was Core Technology Architect at an erstwhile Silicon Valley
start-up, Bodha, eventually acquired by SAP (2000-2001; process integration),
Staff Software Engineer at VLSI/ Philips Semiconductors (1996-2000;
electornic design automation) and Assistant System Analyst at TCS,