Service Oriented Architectures and web service technology are becoming popular in recent years. As more web services can be used over the Internet, the need to find efficient algorithms for web services composition that can deal with large amounts of services becomes important. These algorithms must deal with different issues like performance, semantics or user restrictions. In this paper we present an A* algorithm which solves the problem of semantic input-output message structure matching for web service composition. Given are quest, a service dependency graph with a subset of the original services from an external repository is dynamically generated. Then, the A* search algorithm is used to find a minimal composition that satisfies the user request. Moreover, in order to improve the performance, a set of dynamic optimization techniques has been implemented over the search process. A full experimental validation with eight different public repositories has been done showing a good performance as in all tests as the algorithm finds a valid solution with minimal number of services and execution path.
Keywords: Heuristic search, A* algorithm, Web services composition;