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Concept: Web services


PubChem is an open repository for chemical structures, biological activities and biomedical annotations. Semantic Web technologies are emerging as an increasingly important approach to distribute and integrate scientific data. Exposing PubChem data to Semantic Web services may help enable automated data integration and management, as well as facilitate interoperable web applications.

Concepts: Mathematics, Chemical substance, Semantic Web, Web 2.0, Internet, Reference, Data management, Web services


Semantic Web technologies have been widely applied in the life sciences, for example by data providers such as OpenLifeData and through web services frameworks such as SADI. The recently reported OpenLifeData2SADI project offers access to the vast OpenLifeData data store through SADI services.

Concepts: Scientific method, Science, Semantic Web, Web 2.0, Internet, Web services, Web server, Web service


BACKGROUND: In recent years, a large amount of “-omics” data have been produced. However, these data are stored in many different species-specific databases that are managed by different institutes and laboratories. Biologists often need to find and assemble data from disparate sources to perform certain analyses. Searching for these data and assembling them is a time-consuming task. The Semantic Web helps to facilitate interoperability across databases. A common approach involves the development of wrapper systems that map a relational database schema onto existing domain ontologies. However, few attempts have been made to automate the creation of such wrappers.

Concepts: Database, Semantic Web, Relational database, Relational algebra, SQL, Relational model, Relation, Web services


In recent years, we have witnessed an explosion of biological data resulting largely from the demands of life science research. The vast majority of these data are freely available via diverse bioinformatics platforms, including relational databases and conventional keyword search applications. This type of approach has achieved great results in the last few years, but proved to be unfeasible when information needs to be combined or shared among different and scattered sources. During recent years, many of these data distribution challenges have been solved with the adoption of semantic web. Despite the evident benefits of this technology, its adoption introduced new challenges related with the migration process, from existent systems to the semantic level. To facilitate this transition, we have developed Scaleus, a semantic web migration tool that can be deployed on top of traditional systems in order to bring knowledge, inference rules, and query federation to the existent data. Targeted at the biomedical domain, this web-based platform offers, in a single package, straightforward data integration and semantic web services that help developers and researchers in the creation process of new semantically enhanced information systems. SCALEUS is available as open source at .

Concepts: Biology, Life, Database, Semantics, World Wide Web, Semantic Web, Web 2.0, Web services


Gene expression studies often require the combined use of a number of analysis tools. However, manual integration of analysis tools can be cumbersome and error prone. To support a higher level of automation in the integration process, efforts have been made in the biomedical domain towards the development of semantic web services and supporting composition environments. Yet, most environments consider only the execution of simple service behaviours and requires users to focus on technical details of the composition process. We propose a novel approach to the semantic composition of gene expression analysis services that addresses the shortcomings of the existing solutions. Our approach includes an architecture designed to support the service composition process for gene expression analysis, and a flexible strategy for the (semi) automatic composition of semantic web services. Finally, we implement a supporting platform called SemanticSCo to realize the proposed composition approach and demonstrate its functionality by successfully reproducing a microarray study documented in the literature. The SemanticSCo platform provides support for the composition of RESTful web services semantically annotated using SAWSDL. Our platform also supports the definition of constraints/conditions regarding the order in which service operations should be invoked, thus enabling the definition of complex service behaviours. Our proposed solution for semantic web service composition takes into account the requirements of different stakeholders and addresses all phases of the service composition process. It also provides support for the definition of analysis workflows at a high-level of abstraction, thus enabling users to focus on biological research issues rather than on the technical details of the composition process. The SemanticSCo source code is available at

Concepts: Gene expression, Organism, Semantics, Semantic Web, Web 2.0, Technical support, Web services, Service system


The high costs involved in the development of Clinical Decision Support Systems (CDSS) make it necessary to share their functionality across different systems and organizations. Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) have been proposed to allow reusing CDSS by encapsulating them in a Web service. However, strong barriers in sharing CDS functionality are still present as a consequence of lack of expressiveness of services' interfaces. Linked Services are the evolution of the Semantic Web Services paradigm to process Linked Data. They aim to provide semantic descriptions over SOA implementations to overcome the limitations derived from the syntactic nature of Web services technologies.

Concepts: Decision theory, Decision support system, Semantic Web, Clinical decision support system, Web services, Service-oriented architecture, Web service, Mashup


To examine the feasibility of deploying a virtual web service for sharing data within a research network, and to evaluate the impact on data consistency and quality.

Concepts: Java, Web 2.0, Internet, Web services, Web server, Service system, Service-oriented architecture, Web service


This paper proposes a system named AWSCS (Automatic Web Service Composition System) to evaluate different approaches for automatic composition of Web services, based on QoS parameters that are measured at execution time. The AWSCS is a system to implement different approaches for automatic composition of Web services and also to execute the resulting flows from these approaches. Aiming at demonstrating the results of this paper, a scenario was developed, where empirical flows were built to demonstrate the operation of AWSCS, since algorithms for automatic composition are not readily available to test. The results allow us to study the behaviour of running composite Web services, when flows with the same functionality but different problem-solving strategies were compared. Furthermore, we observed that the influence of the load applied on the running system as the type of load submitted to the system is an important factor to define which approach for the Web service composition can achieve the best performance in production.

Concepts: Java, Web 2.0, Internet, Web services, XML, Web server, Web service, Web api


Despite of the variety of available Web services registries specially aimed at Life Sciences, their scope is usually restricted to a limited set of well-defined types of services. While dedicated registries are generally tied to a particular format, general-purpose ones are more adherent to standards and usually rely on Web Service Definition Language (WSDL). Although WSDL is quite flexible to support common Web services types, its lack of semantic expressiveness led to various initiatives to describe Web services via ontology languages. Nevertheless, WSDL 2.0 descriptions gained a standard representation based on Web Ontology Language (OWL). BioSWR is a novel Web services registry that provides standard Resource Description Framework (RDF) based Web services descriptions along with the traditional WSDL based ones. The registry provides Web-based interface for Web services registration, querying and annotation, and is also accessible programmatically via Representational State Transfer (REST) API or using a SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language. BioSWR server is located at its code is available at the LGPL license.

Concepts: Semantic Web, Web 2.0, Web services, Resource Description Framework, Web service, Web Ontology Language, World Wide Web Consortium, Description logic


In this paper, a Semantic Web service matchmaker called UltiMatch-NL is presented. UltiMatch-NL applies two filters namely Signature-based and Description-based on different abstraction levels of a service profile to achieve more accurate results. More specifically, the proposed filters rely on semantic knowledge to extract the similarity between a given pair of service descriptions. Thus it is a further step towards fully automated Web service discovery via making this process more semantic-aware. In addition, a new technique is proposed to weight and combine the results of different filters of UltiMatch-NL, automatically. Moreover, an innovative approach is introduced to predict the relevance of requests and Web services and eliminate the need for setting a threshold value of similarity. In order to evaluate UltiMatch-NL, the repository of OWLS-TC is used. The performance evaluation based on standard measures from the information retrieval field shows that semantic matching of OWL-S services can be significantly improved by incorporating designed matching filters.

Concepts: Semantic Web, Web 2.0, Internet, Information retrieval, Web services, Web server, Service-oriented architecture, Web service