Web Service Middleware

The Semantic Web Service Middleware under development, is a vital part of the Smart IHU project.

In Smart Spaces such as Smart IHU, various sensor networks are deployed, bearing different communication protocols, data formats, working platforms and configurations and many times different data abstraction levels.

Web Services and the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), provide cross-platform access under a common access protocol (SOAP messages), resolving accessibiliy issues.

Furtermore, Semantic Annotations for Web Services and a suitable Web Service Ontology disambiguate service descriptions, by making them machine-interpretable and enabling reasoning on them. As a result, automated service discovery and selection is enahnced. That is a major contribution to the overall system's intelligence.

Middleware Tasks and Progress

This fraction of the Smart IHU project strives to research & develop methods for:

  • Web Service Description
  • Web Service Discovery
  • Web Service Selection/Matching
  • Semantic Annotations/Ontologies for Web Services

Most importantly, the middleware exposes sensor data and actuator functions, so this part of the project includes developing APIs for all the devices when needed.

Topology so far includes some sensor networks and a single PC - the IHU Agent. The latter hosts corresponding web services as shown in the figure below.

Three platforms are integrated and exposed as Web Services on the IHU Agent PC

In the long run, the goal architecture for Smart IHU and the middleware is shown in the picture below. The central IHU agent is no longer responsible to expose all devices but rather low-power mini-PCs, Gateways, expose devices in their range.


Apart from providing basic functionality, the Web Service Middleware can serve as a basis for Web Service Composition using AI-Planning which means users will be able to accomplish complex tasks in a hassle-free, intelligent way, including optimization plans for energy efficiency and savings.