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An Intelligent Assistant for Interactive Workflow Composition

Jihie Kim, Marc Spraragen, & Yolanda Gil

Published 2004, SCEC Contribution #1017

Complex applications in many areas, including scientific computations and business-related web services, are created from collections of components to form computational workflows. In many cases end users have requirements and preferences that depend on how the workflow unfolds, and that cannot be specified beforehand. Workflow editors enable users to formulate workflows, but the editors need to be augmented with intelligent assistance in order to help users in several key aspects of the task, namely: 1) keeping track of detailed constraints across selected components and their connections; 2) specifying the workflow flexibly, e.g., top-down, bottom-up, from requirements, or from available data; and 3) taking partial or incomplete descriptions of workflows and understanding the steps needed for their completion. We present an approach that combines knowledge bases (that have rich representations of components) together with planning techniques (that can track the relations and constraints among individual steps). We illustrate the approach with an implemented system called CAT (Composition Analysis Tool) that analyzes workflows and generates error messages and suggestions in order to help users compose complete and consistent workflows.

Kim, J., Spraragen, M., & Gil, Y. (2004). An Intelligent Assistant for Interactive Workflow Composition. Poster Presentation at 9th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces. doi: 10.1145/964442.964466.