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Blockchain technology enables the execution of collaborative business processes involving mutually untrusted parties. Existing tools allow such processes to be modeled using high-level notations and compiled into smart contracts that can be deployed on blockchain platforms. However, these tools do not provide mechanisms to cope with the flexibility requirements inherent to open and dynamic collaboration environments. In particular, existing tools adopt a static role binding approach wherein roles are bound to actors upfront when a process instance is created. Also, these tools do not allow participants to collectively make choices regarding alternative sub-processes or branches in the process model, at runtime. This paper presents a model for dynamic binding of actors to roles in collaborative processes and an associated binding policy specification language. The proposed language is endowed with a Petri net semantics, thus enabling policy consistency verification. Furthermore, the paper introduces a model for consensus-based control-flow flexibility, wherein participants in a process can collectively agree on how to steer the business process within the boundaries defined by control-flow agreement policies. The paper also outlines an approach to compile policy specifications into smart contracts for enforcement. An experimental evaluation shows that the cost of policy enforcement increases linearly with the number of roles, control-flow elements, and policy constraints.
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... Blockchain comes with a distributed and tamper-resistant distributed ledger [9], and its smart contracts offer reliable workflow execution schemes [10]. The strength of blockchain is not only to provide reliability but also to insert trust, as protocol and data are managed with transparency and integrity [11], [12]. The protocol enforcement can thus ensure a friction-less collaboration. ...
... Several rules, or constraints, have been implemented to retrieve resource-binding matches. Among such rules stand: (i) behavioral, structural, or execution constraints in [11], or (ii) roles, and statements in [12]. However, these notions are missing in the retrieved protocols. ...
... We suppose that there is no initial matching by setting this variable to False (line 3). We then assess each candidate's profile based on the set of required attributes F iltered P F (e.g., a truck with cold storage) (line [6][7][8][9][10][11][12]. If at least one candidate fits, we retrieve its availability (line 13). ...
... Two [47,49] support looseness by using declarative models; these are loosely specified, providing more flexibility by only modelling constraints [50,Chapter 12]. López-Pintado et al. [21] support looseness and adaptation. Their approach allows late modelling: subprocesses can be modelled during run time. ...
... Introducing flexibility in blockchain applications is a challenge due to the ledger's immutability. Furthermore, introducing flexibility capabilities may lead to trust concerns and correctness issues [21]. Participants must be convinced that flexibility will not introduce uncertainties beyond their control, otherwise it will undermine traceability and correctness guarantees. ...
Preprint
Blockchain has been proposed to facilitate the enactment of interorganisational business processes. For such processes, blockchain can guarantee the enforcement of rules and the integrity of execution traces - without the need for a centralised trusted party. However, the enactment of interorganisational processes pose manifold challenges. In this work, we ask what answers the research field offers in response to those challenges. To do so, we conduct a systematic literature review (SLR). As our guiding question, we investigate the guarantees and capabilities of blockchain-based enactment approaches. Based on resulting empirical evidence, we develop a taxonomy for blockchain-based enactment. We find that a wide range of approaches support traceability and correctness; however, research focusing on flexibility and scalability remains nascent. For all challenges, we point towards future research opportunities.
... In the AQ : 6 global context, it is essential that companies seek to improve their performance and competitiveness through innovations (Lau and Lo, 2019). In addition to launching innovative products on the market, competitive strategies need to include other concerns (Lopez-Valeiras et al., 2016), such as the need to create new business processes, services and structural changes that allow creating value for the company (Bisbe and Malagueño, 2015;L opez-Pintado et al., 2020;Ramayah et al., 2020). Much of the research focuses primarily on product innovation (Chenhall and Moers, 2015;Lopez-Valeiras et al., 2016;Guo et al., 2019). ...
Article
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... Being embedded in blockchains, smart contracts enable the contractual terms of an agreement to be enforced automatically without the intervention of a trusted third party [13]. e collaborative business processes of parties that do not trust each other are compiled into smart contracts that can be deployed on the blockchain platform [14]. Smart contracts allow verifiable operations to be executed in blockchains, bringing new possibilities for trust establishment in trustless scenarios [15]. ...
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... • Automotive industry • Textile industry • Logistics • Global trade (Anandhi et al., 2018), (Pournader et al., 2020), (Zelbst et al., 2019), (Gandino et al., 2007), (Tian, 2016), ( Caro et al., 2018), ( Ratnasari & Haji, 2018), (Abad et al., 2009) (Mhaisen et al., 2020), (López-Pintado et al., 2020) deliver it to a destination, which requires cargo companies to perform logistics operations often at a very basic level. Products shipped could be a raw material, a personal item, a food package or a package of medicine, for example. ...
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Chapter
Blockchain technology enables the execution of collaborative business processes involving mutually untrusted parties. Existing tools allow such processes to be modeled using high-level notations and compiled into smart contracts that can be deployed on blockchain platforms. However, these tools brush aside the question of who is allowed to execute which tasks in the process, either by deferring the question altogether or by adopting a static approach where all actors are bound to roles upon process instantiation. Yet, a key advantage of blockchains is their ability to support dynamic sets of actors. This paper presents a model for dynamic binding of actors to roles in collaborative processes and an associated binding policy specification language. The proposed language is endowed with a Petri net semantics, thus enabling policy consistency verification. The paper also outlines an approach to compile policy specifications into smart contracts for enforcement. An experimental evaluation shows that the cost of policy enforcement increases linearly with the number of roles and constraints.
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