We overview recent progress in the area of semantic rules, and how this creates new opportunities for several aspects of services engineering. We focus on semantic rules that are based on declarative logic programs (LP) knowledge representation (KR) rather than just classical logic. Recent fundamental advances extend these to include defaults, higher-order, object-orientedness, reactiveness (actions and events), and webized dynamic knowledge interchange -- while retaining strong computational scalability. A state-of-the-art example of such rules is the SILK language and system that we are building at Vulcan. Semantic rules expressively supersume relational and web database query languages (SQL and W3C SPARQL), the most practically important semantic web ontology languages (W3C RDF-Schema and OWL RL), and the heart of the most commercially important business rule languages (production rules). They are the main basis for W3C Rule Interchange Format currently in late draft. Long-standing challenges in the area of services engineering include how to represent effectively: process descriptions that are both structural and causal yet also partial and evolving at multiple grain sizes. Services management tasks across the whole services lifecycle can exploit the recent advances in semantic rules. Potential business value lies particularly in frequently-performed tasks for monitoring, compliance, and confidentiality. But earlier-lifecycle tasks of advertising, discovery, composition, and contracting can benefit significantly as well. Another overall potential benefit is tighter integration of exceptional and ad-hoc workflows with regularized business processes. Industry vertical areas of applicability include e-commerce, e-science, health, security/defense, business intelligence, financial, social networking, travel, news, and many others. We give examples, and briefly roadmap several strategic aspects.
Dr. Benjamin Grosof's EDOC Keynote: Semantic Technology for Services Engineering: New Opportunities from Rules