Enabling Semantic Web Services in BioMOBY

Duncan Hull (2003) Thesis submitted to the University of Manchester for the degree of Master of Science. Supervisor: Carole Goble


Bioinformaticians are currently faced with managing large amounts of data and many services that are globally distributed. The intended meaning, or semantics, of these data and the operations the services perform on it are key features which allow them to be discovered, organised and managed. Semantic descriptions of bioinformatics data and services are therefore likely to play a significant role in e-Science. This thesis evaluates two alternative approaches for semantically describing Web Services to enable their discovery by bioinformaticians: BioMOBY, a prototype registry of Web Services and the mygrid service ontology, which semantically describes services using DAML+OIL. BioMOBY has a relatively light-weight description of the semantics of its Web Services whereas the mygrid service ontology is a more heavy-weight, formal and expressive approach. To evaluate the benefits of more formal semantics we re-modelled the light semantic descriptions of Web Services from BioMOBY by extending the mygrid service ontology to include descriptions of BioMOBY Web Services. The relative merits of these two approaches are discussed with particular emphasis on their ability to support discovery of Web Services by bioinformaticians.


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