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  • Publication
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    Survey of Semantic Description of REST APIs
    (Springer Science + Business Media, 2013-01-01)
    Verborgh, Ruben
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    Harth, Andreas
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    Stadtmüller, Steffen
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    Steiner, Thomas
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    Taheriyan, Mohsen
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    Van de Walle, Rik
    The REST architectural style assumes that client and server form a contract with content negotiation, not only on the data format but implicitly also on the semantics of the communicated data, i.e., an agreement on how the data have to be interpreted [247]. In different application scenarios such an agreement requires vendor-specific content types for the individual services to convey the meaning of the communicated data. The idea behind vendor-specific content types is that service providers can reuse content types and service consumers can make use of specific processors for the individual content types. In practice however, we see that many RESTful APIs on the Web simply make use of standard non-specific content types, e.g., text/xml or application/json [150]. Since the agreement on the semantics is only implicit, programmers developing client applications have to manually gain a deep understanding of several APIs from multiple providers. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014. All rights are reserved.
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Automating the Use of Web APIs through Lightweight Semantics
    (Springer, 2012) ;
    Pedrinaci, Carlos
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    Liu, Dong
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    Alvaro, Guillermo
    Web services have already achieved a solid level of acceptance and play a major role for the rapid development of loosely-coupled component-based systems, overcoming heterogeneity within and between enterprises. Current developments in the world of services on the Web are marked by the proliferation of Web APIs and Web applications, commonly referred to as RESTful services, which show high potential and growing user acceptance. Still, despite the achieved progress, the wider adoption of Web APIs is hindered by the fact that their implementation and publication hardly follow any standard guidelines or formats. REST principles are indeed a good step in this direction but the vast majority of the APIs do not strictly adhere to these principles. As a consequence, in order to use them, developers are obliged to manually locate, retrieve, read and interpret heterogeneous documentation, and subsequently develop custom tailored software, which has a very low level of reusability. In summary, most tasks during the life-cycle of services require extensive manual effort and applications based on existing Web APIs suffer from a lack of automation. This tutorial introduces an approach and a set of integrated methods and tools to address this drawback, making services more accessible to both experts and non-expert users, by increasing the level of automation provided during common service tasks, such as the discovery of Web APIs, their composition and their invocation. The tutorial covers i) the conceptual underpinnings, which integrate Web APIs with state of the art technologies from the Web of Data and Semantic Web Services; ii) the presentation of an integrated suite of Web-based tools supporting service users; iii) and hands-on examples illustrating how the tools and technologies can help users in finding and exploiting existing Web APIs. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Adaptive Service Binding with Lightweight Semantic Web Services
    (Spinger, 2011)
    Pedrinaci, Carlos
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    Lambert, Dave
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    Liu, Dong
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    Domingue, John
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    Krummenacher, Reto
    Adaptive service selection is acknowledged to provide a certain number of advantages to optimise the service provisioning process or to cater for advanced service brokering. Semantic Web Services, that is services that have been enriched with semantic annotations have often been used for providing adaptive service selection by deferring the binding of services until runtime. Thus far, however, research on Semantic Web Services has mainly been dominated by rich conceptual frameworks such as WSMO and OWL-S which require a significant effort towards the annotation of services and rely on complex reasoning for which there are no efficient solutions that can scale to the Web yet. In this chapter, inline with current trends on the Semantic Web that sacrifice expressivity in favour of performance, we present a novel approach to providing adaptive service selection that relies on simple conceptual models for services and less expressive formalisms for which there currently exist mature and performant implementations. In particular, we present a set of conceptual models defined in RDF(S) that support both Web services and Web APIs and we show how simple templates abstracting user requirements can be automatically transformed into SPARQL to enable service selection in a scalable manner. © 2011 Springer-Verlag/Wien.
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Lightweight semantics for automating the invocation of Web APIs
    (IEEE, 2011) ;
    Pedrinaci, Carlos
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    Li, Ning
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    Kopecky, Jacek
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    Domingue, John
    The past few years have been marked by the rapid increase in popularity and use of Web APIs as indicated by the growing number of available APIs and the multitude of applications built on top of them. The development and evolution of applications based on Web APIs is, however, hampered by the lack of automation achievable with current technologies. In this paper, we focus in particular on invocation, which as of now requires manual implementation of custom-tailored clients for each individual API. We present an approach for employing lightweight semantics for supporting the automated invocation of Web APIs. We investigate current Web API description forms and conduct an analysis of the requirements for a description model capable of supporting unified API invocation. In the light of these results, we propose a shared API description model that overcomes the current heterogeneity of the documentation and provides common grounds for enhancing APIs with semantic annotations that facilitate a general automated invocation solution. We evaluate the applicability of our approach by determining the coverage provided by our description model and via a prototypical implementation of an invocation engine. © 2011 IEEE.
  • Publication
    Metadata only
    Cross-lingual Web API classification and annotation
    (RWTH, 2011-11-03) ;
    Zilka, Lukas
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    Knoth, Petr
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    Pedrinaci, Carlos
    Recent developments on the Web are marked by the growing support for the Linked Data initiative, which encourages government and public organisations, as well as private institutions, to expose their data on the Web. This results in a plentitude of multi-lingual document collections where the original resources are published in the language, in which they are available. The challenges of multilingualism present on the Semantic Web are also reflected in the context of services on the Web, characterised by the rapid increase in popularity and use of Web APIs, as indicated by the growing number of available APIs and the applications built on top of them. Web APIs are commonly described in plain-text as part of Web pages, following no particular guidelines and conforming to no standards, despite some initial approaches in the area [1, 2]. Therefore, API providers publish descriptions in any language they see fit, making the service discovery and the subsequent processing of the documentation challenging tasks. In this paper, we present a cross-lingual approach that calculates semantic similarity of text to help classify and annotate Web APIs, based on their textual descriptions. Furthermore, we show how our solution can be implemented as part of SWEET [3], which is a tool that enables the semi-automated creation of semantic Web API descriptions. In addition, we demonstrate how the cross-lingual approach can be adopted to support the language-independent discovery of Web APIs.