In many applications involving composite Web services, one or more component services may become unavailable. This presents us with the problem of identifying other components that can take their place, while maintaining the overall functionality of the composite service. Given a choice of candidate substitutions that offer the desired functionality, it is often necessary to select the most preferred substitution based on non-functional attributes of the service, e.g., security, reliability, etc. We propose an approach to this problem using preference networks for representing and reasoning about preferences over non-functional properties. We present algorithms for solving several variants of this problem: a) when the choice of the preferred substitution is independent of the other constituents of the composite service; b) when the choice of the preferred substitution depends on the other constituents of the composite service; and c) when multiple constituents of a composite service need to be replaced simultaneously. The proposed solutions to the service substitution problem based on preferences over non-functional properties are independent of the specific formalism used to represent functional requirements of a composite service as well as the specific algorithm used to assemble the composite service. 1
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