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Service Semantics, Structure, and Design

30 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2007 Last revised: 28 Sep 2009

Levent V. Orman

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management


Services are defined as immediate and one-time consumables, and they are characterized as interactions between the suppliers and consumers. Consequently, service semantics includes a formal description of services, and a formal description of the consumer goals and consumer tasks that utilize those services. A multi-dimensional ontology is suggested to capture the full semantics of services, and to separate it from their structure. The separation between semantics and structure allows describing bundles of services and service components independently of their structural relationships. Such multi-dimensional descriptions of services can be placed in universal directories to facilitate search, and component descriptions facilitate reuse of components to design and modify services dynamically. Finally, all organizations are characterized as collections of services for internal and external constituencies, and the formal semantics of services is suggested as a tool to develop a formal semantics for organizations. Possible solutions are suggested to many organizational issues, such as privacy, dissent, and organizational boundaries, by utilizing service bundling as a tool.

Keywords: Service Semantics, Service Search, Service Design, Organization Design, Multi-dimensional Ontologies, Service Bundling, Service Components

Suggested Citation

Orman, Levent V., Service Semantics, Structure, and Design. Johnson School Research Paper Series No. 06-07. Available at SSRN: or

Levent V. Orman (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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