Service Classification through Machine Learning: Aiding in the Efficient Identification of Reusable Assets in Cloud Application Development
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Abstract: Developing software based on services is one of the most emerging programming paradigms in software development. Service-based software development relies on the composition of services (i.e., pieces of code already built and deployed in the cloud) through orchestrated API calls. Black-box reuse can play a prominent role when using this programming paradigm, in the sense that identifying and reusing already existing/deployed services can save substantial development effort. According to the literature, identifying reusable assets (i.e., components, classes, or services) is more successful and efficient when the discovery process is domain-specific. To facilitate domain-specific service discovery, we propose a service classification approach that can categorize services to an application domain, given only the service description. To validate the accuracy of our classification approach, we have trained a machine-learning model on thousands of open-source services and tested it on 67 services developed within two companies employing service-based software development. The study results suggest that the classification algorithm can perform adequately in a test set that does not overlap with the training set; thus, being (with some confidence) transferable to other industrial cases. Additionally, we expand the body of knowledge on software categorization by highlighting sets of domains that consist ‘grey-zones’ in service classification.

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