The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Flexible provisioning of Web service workflows

Stein, Sebastian, Payne, Terry R. and Jennings, N.R. (2009) Flexible provisioning of Web service workflows ACM Transactions on Internet Technology, 9, (1), 2:1-2:45. (doi:10.1145/1462159.1462161).

Record type: Article


Web services promise to revolutionise the way computational resources and business processes are offered and invoked in open, distributed systems, such as the Internet. These services are described using machine-readable meta-data, which enables consumer applications to automatically discover and provision suitable services for their workflows at run-time. However, current approaches have typically assumed service descriptions are accurate and deterministic, and so have neglected to account for the fact that services in these open systems are inherently unreliable and uncertain. Specifically, network failures, software bugs and competition for services may regularly lead to execution delays or even service failures. To address this problem, the process of provisioning services needs to be performed in a more flexible manner than has so far been considered, in order to proactively deal with failures and to recover workflows that have partially failed. To this end, we devise and present a heuristic strategy that varies the provisioning of services according to their predicted performance. Using simulation, we then benchmark our algorithm and show that it leads to a 700% improvement in average utility, while successfully completing up to eight times as many workflows as approaches that do not consider service failures.

PDF a2-stein.pdf - Version of Record
Download (1MB)

More information

Published date: February 2009
Keywords: web services, semantic web services, service-oriented comput- ing, workflows, service provisioning, service composition
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity


Local EPrints ID: 264605
ISSN: 1533-5399
PURE UUID: 899a2b53-06eb-4c3c-9880-3b35f006b1ea

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 01 Oct 2007
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 07:34

Export record



Author: Sebastian Stein
Author: Terry R. Payne
Author: N.R. Jennings

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.