Short Paper: Machine Readable Web APIs with Action Annotations

Research & Innovation

The initiative led by the four major search engines curates a vocabulary for describing web content. The number of semantic annotations on the web are increasing, mostly due to the industrial incentives provided by those search engines. The annotations are not only consumed by search engines, but also by other automated agents like intelligent personal assistants (IPAs). However, only annotating data is not enough for automated agents to reach their full potential. Web APIs should be also annotated for automating service consumption, so the IPAs can complete tasks like booking a hotel room or buying a ticket for an event on the fly. Although there has been a vast amount of effort in the semantic web services field, the approaches did not gain too much adoption outside of academia, mainly due to lack of concrete incentives and steep learning curves. In this paper, we suggest a lightweight, bottom-up approach based on actions to annotate Web APIs. We analyse vocabulary in the scope of lightweight semantic web services literature and propose extensions where necessary. We show that actions could be a suitable vocabulary for Web API description. We demonstrate our work by annotating existing Web APIs of accommodation service providers. Additionally, we briefly demonstrate how these APIs can be used dynamically, for example, by a dialogue system.


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