Enhancing Workflow with a Semantic Description of Scientific Intent

Edoardo Pignotti, Peter Edwards, Nick Gotts, Gary Polhill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Scientists are becoming increasingly dependent upon resources available through the Internet including, for example, datasets and computational modelling services, which are changing the way they conduct their research activities. This paper investigates the use of workflow tools enhanced with semantics to facilitate the design, execution, analysis and interpretation of workflow experiments and exploratory studies. Current workflow technologies do not incorporate any representation of experimental constraints and goals, which we refer to in this paper as scientist’s intent. This paper proposes an abstract model of intent based on the Open Provenance Model (OPM) specification. To realise this model a framework based upon a number of Semantic Web technologies has been developed, including the OWL ontology language and the Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL). Through the use of social simulation case studies the paper illustrates the benefits of using this framework in terms of workflow monitoring, workflow provenance and annotation of experimental results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-244
Number of pages23
JournalWeb semantics: science, services and agents on the World Wide Web
Issue number2
Early online date9 May 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • workflow
  • semantic grid
  • provenance
  • scientist’s intent
  • rules


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