Project

Aspect Oriented Business Process Management

Goal: This project aims at enabling separation of cross cutting concerns in business process management

Date: 1 January 2012 - 19 December 2016

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Project log

Amin Jalali
added a project reference
Ilia Bider
added a research item
A modern organization needs to adapt its behavior to changes in the business environment by changing its Business Processes (BP) and corresponding Business Process Support (BPS) systems. One way of achieving such adaptability is via separation of the system code from the process description/model by applying the concept of executable process models. Furthermore, to ease introduction of changes, such process model should separate different perspectives, for example, control-flow, human resources, and data perspectives, from each other. In addition, for developing a completely new process, it should be possible to start with a reduced process model to get a BPS system quickly running, and then continue to develop it in an agile manner. This paper consists of two parts, the first sets requirements on modeling techniques that could be used in the tools that supports agile development of BPs and BPS systems. The second part suggests a business process modeling technique that allows to start modeling with the data/information perspective which would be appropriate for processes supported by Case or Adaptive Case Management (CM/ACM) systems. In a model produced by this technique, called data-centric business process model, a process instance/case is defined as sequence of states in a specially designed instance database, while the process model is defined as a set of rules that set restrictions on allowed states and transitions between them. The paper details the background for the project of developing the data-centric process modeling technique, presents the outline of the structure of the model, and gives formal definitions for a substantial part of the model.
Amin Jalali
added a research item
Business processes need to conform with many regulations. These regulations usually cross over many business processes, so a change in one regulation can affect many business processes. To apply such a change, the systems that support these processes need to be audited and changed accordingly. Aspect-Oriented Business Process Management is a paradigm that aims to solve this problem by encapsulating these regulations separately from the core process models. To enact these models, two approaches are defined, named static and dynamic weaving. These approaches support enactment of these models effectively, yet they cannot address the management of non-retroactive regulations effectively. This gap hinders the management of business processes in organizations. Therefore, this paper proposes a third approach called hybrid weaving to fill this gap. The operational semantics of this approach is defined formally, and it is verified using state space analysis technique. This approach enables management of retroactive and non-retroactive regulations by weaving them into core process models at configuration time and run time. The result also enabled us to distinguish a new sort of process flexibility that can be offered when managing business processes.
Amin Jalali
added 15 research items
Monitoring business processes is an important area in Business Process Management. This area not only supports monitoring but also enables flexibility. Thus, it has been investigated in many other areas like Business Activity Monitoring, Exception Handling, Aspect Oriented Business Process Management, etc. These areas require to define how a process instance should be monitored from different perspectives. However, current definitions are coupled to control-flow perspective, which applies some limitations. For example, we cannot define a rule to capture situations in which an account balance is read - regardless of its process. To capture such situations, we propose an approach to define monitoring rules. This approach enables composition of rules in a way to be decoupled from a specific perspective. To validate the result, we implemented a rule editor and a monitoring service, called Observer Service. These artefacts are used to support the definition of monitoring rules and track process instances, correspondingly. Finally, we investigated the validity and relevancy of the artefacts through a banking case study.
Coping with complexity is an important issue in both research and industry. One strategy to deal with complexity is separation of concerns, which can be addressed using Aspect-Oriented paradigm. Despite being well researched in Programming, this paradigm is still in a preliminary stage in the area of Business Process Management (BPM). While some efforts have been made to introduce aspect orientation in business process modelling, there is no holistic approach with a formal underlying foundation to support aspect-oriented business process design and enactment, and this gap restricts Aspect-Oriented paradigm from being practically deployed in the area of BPM. Therefore, this paper proposes a sound systematic approach which builds on a formal syntax for modelling aspect-oriented business processes and a Petri-net-based operational semantics for enacting these processes. The approach enables the implementation of software system artefacts as a proof of concept to support design and enactment of aspect-oriented business processes in practice. The approach is demonstrated using a banking case study, where processes are modelled using a concrete notation that conforms to the proposed formal syntax and then executed in a state-of-the-art BPM system where the implemented artefacts are deployed.
Separation of concerns is an important topic in Business Pro-cess Modeling. One sort of concerns is cross-cutting, like security, which are repeated in many business processes. These concerns make the models more complex, since concerns are repeated in many process models. The repetition of realization of concerns in process models makes the main-tenance cumbersome. Aspect Oriented Business Process Modeling is an approach to address these concerns, which has been investigated recently. However, no set of requirements are defined for such modeling proposals, which makes the evaluation of and comparison between these approaches impossible. Therefore, this paper introduces a set of requirements for the aspect oriented business process modeling, which are used to define an evaluation framework for assessing these modeling approaches. The framework is used to evaluate existing aspect oriented business process modeling proposals. The result shows a comparison between different modeling proposals by clarifying their strengths and weaknesses. It also shows the gap in the area, which can be used as direction for future research.
Amin Jalali
added a project goal
This project aims at enabling separation of cross cutting concerns in business process management