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Volume 14 / Issue 11

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-014-11-1838


A Workflow Language for Web Automation

Paula Montoto (University of A Coruña, Spain)

Alberto Pan (University of A Coruña, Spain)

Juan Raposo (University of A Coruña, Spain)

Jose Losada (University of A Coruña, Spain)

Fernando Bellas (University of A Coruña, Spain)

Víctor Carneiro (University of A Coruña, Spain)

Abstract: Most today’s web sources do not provide suitable interfaces for software programs to interact with them. Many researchers have proposed highly effective techniques to address this problem. Nevertheless, ad-hoc solutions are still frequent in real-world web automation applications. Arguably, one of the reasons for this situation is that most proposals have focused on query wrappers, which transform a web source into a special kind of database in which some queries can be executed using a query form and return resultsets that are composed of structured data records. Although the query wrapper model is often useful, it is not appropriate for applications that make decisions according to the data retrieved or processes that use forms that can be modelled as insert/update/delete operations. This article proposes a new language for defining web automation processes that is based on a wide range of real-world web automation tasks that are being used by corporations from different business areas.

Keywords: data mining, web automation, web information systems, web wrappers

Categories: D.1.7, H.2.5, H.2.8, H.3.3