American Society of Civil Engineers

Semantic Web Services Framework for Computational Mechanics

by Thiti Vacharasintopchai, (corresponding author), (Doctoral Candidate, School of Engrg. and Technol., Asian Inst. of TEchnol., P.O. Box 4 Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand E-mail:, William Barry, (Visiting Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. an dEnvir. Engrg., Norwich Univ., 158 Harmon Dr., Northfield, VT 05663. E-mail:, Vilas Wuwongse, (Prof., School of Engrg. and Technol., Asian Inst. of Technol., P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand. E-mail:, and Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, (Prof., School of Engrg. and Technol., Asian Inst. of Technol., P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand. E-mail:

Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, Vol. 21, No. 2, March/April 2007, pp. 65-77, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: In performing numerical structural analysis, computers are adept at “crunching” numbers but require close guidance from human users. Oftentimes, judgment and experience of seasoned users are necessary to obtain accurate results. Furthermore, for large and complicated simulations, the analyses may require excessive computational time. Web Services and the Semantic Web, emerging technologies based on the Internet, possess the potential to alleviate these problems by transforming the World-Wide Web from a large collection of information into an intelligent distributed computational device. In essence, Web Services are a new type of computer software that can be published, located and invoked across the Web, and the Semantic Web is a technology that can be used to facilitate the collaboration of Web services by enabling the computers accessing data on the Web to work intelligently. The joint applications of these technologies are termed Semantic Web Services. This paper presents an overview of the technologies essential to Web Services and the Semantic Web and proposes a framework for their joint application in the field of computational mechanics. The components of Web Services and the system architecture on which they interact are discussed. Ontology, the fundamental concept of the Semantic Web, is introduced, and a detailed description of the proposed framework for computational mechanics is given. Finally, a case study involving a typical problem in structural analysis and design, as well as its solution within the context of Semantic Web Services for computational mechanics, is presented to demonstrate the proposed framework.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Computer software
Computer applications