Simplified Discovery Model: Key to Success

Track: Knowledge Management, Metadata and Semantics, OT

Audience Level: High Level/Technical view

Time: Thursday, November 17 16:00

Author: Claire Vishik, Sterling Commerce

Keywords: Intermediation, Web Services Registries, Text Processing, Discovery Mechanisms.


Discovery of relevant objects and artifacts is an important topic in many disciplines. In economics, for example, numerous models have been developed for studying the effect of varying conditions on the search for products and general market efficiency. The emergence of the World Wide Web and the resulting prominence of open standards led to several attempts at standardizing discovery mechanisms, adapted for various usages and classes of applications. The importance of discovery to support higher levels of automation is understood by all and underscored by the number of specifications and proposals on discovery-related topics that appeared in the past several years.

This paper focuses on discovery paradigms that can be used in B2B frameworks. After describing the foundations of UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) registry and registry/repository (RR) specifications in ebXML in order to assess their appropriateness for the creation of a large-scale general purpose registry of Web Services, the discussion moves to simpler models that could be used as a basis for building such a registry.

Based on the evaluation of the specialized registry specifications, the paper highlights the complexity of these highly structured discovery options. The complex structure can become a liability if used for a very large general-purpose Web Services registry. The paper further proposes a minimalist solution for generalized Web Services discovery mechanisms based on a very small number of required parameters and text indexing as well as the notion of trusted intermediaries. The paper doesn’t provide technical specifications for the design and architecture of the discovery intermediary or techniques for processing of simple submissions; these aspects will be presented in subsequent papers. Instead, the paper concentrates on the rationale behind the idea of the simplification.