Handling and communicating Uncertainty in chained Geospatial Web Services

Richard Jones*, Lucy Bastin, Dan Cornford, Matthew Williams
Knowledge Engineering Group,Aston University Birmingham, United Kingdom
*jonesrml @aston. ac.uk

Abstract: Recent developments in service-oriented and distributed computing have created exciting opportunities for the integration of models in service chains to create the Model Web. This offers the potential for orchestrating web data and processing services, in complex chains; a flexible approach which exploits the increased access to products and tools, and the scalability offered by the Web. However, the uncertainty inherent in data and models must be quantified and communicated in an interoperable way, in order for its effects to be effectively assessed as errors propagate through complex automated model chains. We describe a proposed set of tools for handling, characterizing and communicating uncertainty in this context, and show how they can be used to 'uncertainty- enable' Web Services in a model chain. An example implementation is presented, which combines environmental and publicly-contributed data to produce estimates of sea-level air pressure, with estimates of uncertainty which incorporate the effects of model approximation as well as the uncertainty inherent in the observational and derived data.

Keywords: uncertainty propagation, probability, web services

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