Web service API recommendation for automated mashup creation using multi-objective evolutionary search

Nuri Almarimi, Ali Ouni, Salah Bouktif, Mohamed Wiem Mkaouer, Raula Gaikovina Kula, Mohamed Aymen Saied

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Modern software development builds on external Web services reuse as a promising way that allows developers delivering feature-rich software by composing existing Web service Application Programming Interfaces, known as APIs. With the overwhelming number of Web services that are available on the Internet, finding the appropriate Web services for automatic service composition, i.e., mashup creation, has become a time-consuming, difficult, and error-prone task for software designers and developers when done manually. To help developers, a number of approaches and techniques have been proposed to automatically recommend Web services. However, they mostly focus on recommending individual services. Nevertheless, in practice, service APIs are intended to be used together forming a social network between different APIs, thus should be recommended collectively. In this paper, we introduce a novel automated approach, called SerFinder, to recommend service sets for automatic mashup creation. We formulate the service set recommendation as a multi-objective combinatorial problem and use the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) as a search method to extract an optimal set of services to create a given mashup. We aim at guiding the search process towards generating the adequate compromise among three objectives to be optimized (i) maximize services historical co-usage, (ii) maximize services functional matching with the mashup requirements, and (iii) maximize services functional diversity. We perform a large-scale empirical experiment to evaluate SerFinder on a benchmark of real-world mashups and services. The obtained results demonstrate the effectiveness of SerFinder in comparison with recent existing approaches for mashup creation and services recommendation. The statistical analysis results provide an empirical evidence that SerFinder, significantly outperforms four state-of-the-art widely-used multi-objective search-based algorithms as well as random search.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105830
JournalApplied Soft Computing Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • API recommendation
  • Search-based software engineering
  • Service mashup
  • Web service

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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