We have lately been focussing much on automating the discovery and analysis of services on the Web (obviously with a strong focus on Web APIs). This work takes as starting point the Web as it is, with all its mess and the usual lack of rich structured descriptions of services, and aims to provide the best possible support for people that want to find and use services. That is, rather than continuing the development of more advanced semantic discovery algorithms, we are focussing on automatically locating Web APIs, analysing their documentation, figuring out how APIs are used, etc. Some of the latest work has now been accepted at major conferences such as ISWC , and WISE . If you want to contribute to this work just drop us an email, and if you are also considering getting a PhD, then this may be your lucky day!
As part of this renewed research and development focus, we now have available a position for a PhD student at the Knowledge Media Institute of the Open University, UK (see general information). We are currently offering a fully-funded studentship commencing January 2013. Applications are invited from UK, EU and international students for full-time, 3-year study on the following PhD project:
Mining Services on the Web
As the role of the Web has become central within ICT and our society in general, it is increasingly apparent that although services are widely used, current practices are largely driven by less traditional factors than those initially anticipated and prescribed by software engineering methodologies. In this PhD Studentship we would like to carry out research on services from a fundamentally different perspective from the one commonly adopted in Computer Science. Notably, rather than focusing on defining new theoretical principles and frameworks for supporting the development of service-oriented systems, we would like to exploit the plethora of information that exists on the Web to figure out what current practices are, gain a better understanding on how service providers and service consumers are behaving, and use this knowledge to better support their practices. By doing so we expect to gather a richer understanding on current development processes in the Web era, so that we can determine the main factors driving services successes and failures, produce models that could predict the popularity or determine the simplicity of usage of a given service, etc. It is only then that we will be able to devise adequate technologies for supporting service providers and consumers, as well as identify and propose means for bridging the gap between current practices and best principles that could lead us towards a more sustainable future.
Deadline for applications: 16th November 2012.
Further information: http://kmi.open.ac.uk/studentships/mining-services-on-the-web.php
 Lin, C., He, Y., Pedrinaci, C. and Domingue, J. (2012) Feature LDA: a Supervised Topic Model for Automatic Detection of Web API Documentations from the Web, The 11th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), Boston, USA.
 Ly, A., Pedrinaci, C. and Domingue, J. (2012) Automated Information Extraction from Web APIs Documentation, The 13th International Conference on Web Information System Engineering (WISE 2012), Paphos, Cyprus, Springer