Enabling Adaptive Process-Aware Information Systems with ADEPT2

Enabling Adaptive Process-Aware Information Systems with ADEPT2

Manfred Reichert (University of Ulm, Germany) and Peter Dadam (University of Ulm, Germany)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-288-6.ch008
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Abstract

In dynamic environments it must be possible to quickly implement new business processes, to enable ad-hoc deviations from the defined business processes on-demand (e.g., by dynamically adding, deleting or moving process activities), and to support dynamic process evolution (i.e., to propagate process schema changes to already running process instances). These fundamental requirements must be met without affecting process consistency and robustness of the process-aware information system. In this chapter the authors describe how these challenges have been addressed in the ADEPT2 process management system. Their overall vision is to provide a next generation technology for the support of dynamic processes, which enables full process lifecycle management and which can be applied to a variety of application domains.
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Introduction

In today’s dynamic business world the economic success of an enterprise increasingly depends on its ability to quickly and flexibly react to changes in its environment. Generally, the reasons for such changes can be manifold. As examples consider the introduction of new regulations, the availability of new medical tests, or changes in customers’ attitudes. Companies and organizations therefore have recognized business agility as prerequisite for being able to cope with changes and to deal with emerging trends like business-on-demand, high product and service variability, and faster time-to-market (Weber, Rinderle, & Reichert, 2007).

Process-aware information systems (PAISs) offer promising perspectives in this respect, and a growing interest in aligning information systems in a process-oriented way can be observed (Weske, 2007). As opposed to data- or function-centered information systems, PAISs separate process logic and application code. Most PAISs describe process logic explicitly in terms of a process template providing the schema for handling respective business cases. Usually, the core of the process layer is built by a process management system which provides generic functions for modeling, configuring, executing, and monitoring business processes. This separation of concerns increases maintainability and reduces cost of change (Mutschler, Weber, & Reichert, 2008a). Changes to one layer often can be performed without affecting other layers; e.g., changing the execution order of process activities or adding new activities to a process template can, to a large degree, be accomplished without touching the application services linked to the different process activities (Dadam, Reichert, & Kuhn, 2000). Usually, the process logic is expressed in terms of executable process models, which can be checked for the absence of errors already at buildtime (e.g., to exclude deadlocks or incomplete data flow specifications). Examples for PAIS-enabling technologies include workflow management systems (van der Aalst & van Hee, 2002) and case handling tools (van der Aalst, Weske, & Grünbauer, 2005; Weske, 2007).

The ability to effectively deal with process change has been identified as one of the most fundamental success factors for PAISs (Reichert & Dadam, 1997; Müller, Greiner, & Rahm, 2004; Pesic, Schonenberg, Sidorova, & van der Aalst, 2007). In domains like healthcare (Lenz & Reichert, 2007; Dadam et al., 2000) or automotive engineering (Mutschler, Bumiller, & Reichert, 2006; Müller, Herbst, Hammori, & Reichert, 2006), for example, any PAIS would not be accepted by users if rigidity came with it. Through the described separation of concerns PAISs facilitate changes. However, enterprises running PAISs are still reluctant to adapt process implementations once they are running properly (Reijers & van der Aalst, 2005; Mutschler, Reichert, & Bumiller, 2008b). High complexity and high cost of change are mentioned as major reasons for not fully leveraging the potential of PAISs. To overcome this unsatisfactory situation more flexible PAISs are needed enabling companies to capture real-world processes adequately without leading to mismatches between computerized business processes and those running in reality (Lenz & Reichert, 2007; Reichert, Hensinger, & Dadam, 1998b). Instead, users must be able to deviate from the predefined processes if required and to evolve PAIS implementations over time. Such changes must be possible at a high level of abstraction and without affecting consistency and robustness of the PAIS.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Change Pattern: Allows for a high-level process adaptation at the process type as well as the process instance level. Examples include high-level changes like inserting, deleting and moving process fragments. Change patterns can be also used to assess the expressiveness of a process change framework.

Dynamic Process Change: Refers to a (structural) change that is applied to the schema of a running process instance during runtime. After the change, process execution continues based on the new schema version of the process instance.

Ad-Hoc Process Change: Refers to a process change which is applied in an ad-hoc manner to a given process instance. Usually, ad-hoc instance changes become necessary to deal with exceptions or situations not anticipated at process design time.

Adaptive Process: Refers to the ability of the process-aware information system to dynamically adapt the schema of ongoing process instances during runtime.

Compliance Criterion: Refers to a well-established correctness criterion that can be applied to check whether a running process instance is compliant with a modified process schema or not (i.e., whether it can dynamically migrate to this schema or not). For example, compliance will be always ensured if the execution log of the respective process instance can be produced on the new schema as well.

Process Schema Evolution: Refers to the continuous adaptation of the schema of a particular process type to cope with evolving needs and environmental changes. Particularly for long-running processes, it then often becomes necessary to migrate already running process instances to the new schema version.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Preface
Jorge Cardoso, Wil van der Aalst
Chapter 1
Tiziana Margaria, Bernhard Steffen
The one thing approach is designed to overcome the classical communication hurdles between application experts and the various levels of IT experts.... Sample PDF
Business Process Modeling in the jABC: The One-Thing Approach
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Chapter 2
Huy Tran, Ta’id Holmes, Uwe Zdun, Schahram Dustdar
This chapter introduces a view-based, model-driven approach for process-driven, service-oriented architectures. A typical business process consists... Sample PDF
Modeling Process-Driven SOAs: A View-Based Approach
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Chapter 3
Stefan Jablonski
This chapter presents a process modeling approach for holistic process management. The main idea is that domain specific process models are required... Sample PDF
Process Modeling for Holistic Process Management
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Chapter 4
Matthias Kloppmann, Dieter Koenig, Simon Moser
This chapter introduces a set of languages intended to model and run business processes. The Business Process Modeling Notation 1.1 (BPMN) is a... Sample PDF
The Dichotomy of Modeling and Execution: BPMN and WS-BPEL
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Chapter 5
Chun Ouyang, Michael Adams, Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede
Due to the absence of commonly accepted conceptual and formal foundations for workflow management, and more generally Business Process Management... Sample PDF
Yet Another Workflow Language: Concepts, Tool Support, and Application
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Chapter 6
Modelling Constructs  (pages 122-141)
Ekkart Kindler
There are many different notations and formalisms for modelling business processes and workflows. These notations and formalisms have been... Sample PDF
Modelling Constructs
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Chapter 7
Kwanghoon Kim, Clarence A. Ellis
This chapter introduces the basic concepts of information control net (ICN) and its workflow models. In principle, a workflow model is the... Sample PDF
ICN-Based Workflow Model and its Advances
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Chapter 8
Manfred Reichert, Peter Dadam
In dynamic environments it must be possible to quickly implement new business processes, to enable ad-hoc deviations from the defined business... Sample PDF
Enabling Adaptive Process-Aware Information Systems with ADEPT2
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Chapter 9
Macello La Rosa, Marlon Dumas, Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede
A reference process model represents multiple variants of a common business process in an integrated and reusable manner. It is intended to be... Sample PDF
Modeling Business Process Variability for Design-Time Configuration
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Chapter 10
Cesare Pautasso
Model-driven architecture (MDA), design and transformation techniques can be applied with success to the domain of business process modeling (BPM)... Sample PDF
Compiling Business Process Models into Executable Code
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Chapter 11
Cinzia Cappiello, Barbara Pernici
This chapter illustrates the concept of repairable processes and self-healing functionalities and discusses about their design requirements.... Sample PDF
Design of Repairable Processes
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Chapter 12
Web Process Adaptation  (pages 245-253)
Kunal Verma
Adaptation is an important concept for Web processes. The author provides an overview of adaptation with respect to control theory and how it is... Sample PDF
Web Process Adaptation
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Chapter 13
Carlo Combi, Giuseppe Pozzi
Time is a very important dimension of any aspect in human life, affecting also information and information management. As such, time must be dealt... Sample PDF
Temporalities for Workflow Management Systems
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Chapter 14
Karsten Ploesser, Nick Russell
This chapter discusses the challenges associated with integrating work performed by human agents into automated workflows. It briefly recounts the... Sample PDF
The People Integration Challenge
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Chapter 15
Dimka Karastoyanova, Tammo van Lessen, Frank Leymann, Zhilei Ma, Joerg Nitzche, Branimir Wetzstein
Even though process orientation/BPM is a widely accepted paradigm with heavy impact on industry and research the available technology does not... Sample PDF
Semantic Business Process Management: Applying Ontologies in BPM
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Chapter 16
Hernani Mourao, Pedro Antunes
In this chapter the authors propose a solution to handle unexpected exceptions in WfMS. They characterize these events deeply and recognize that... Sample PDF
Using WfMS to Support Unstructured Activities
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Chapter 17
Guillermo Jimenez
In this chapter the authors introduce the role of a business process engineer (BPE) and necessary competencies to define, simulate, analyze, and... Sample PDF
Business Process Engineering
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Chapter 18
Christoph Bussler
This chapter introduces the application of process management to business-to-business (B2B) integration and enterprise application integration... Sample PDF
B2B and EAI with Business Process Management
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Chapter 19
Paul Grefen
This chapter is devoted to automated support for interorganizational business process management, that is, formation and enactment of business... Sample PDF
Systems for Interorganizational Business Process Management
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Chapter 20
Guido Governatori, Shazia Sadiq
It is a typical scenario that many organisations have their business processes specified independently of their business obligations (which includes... Sample PDF
The Journey to Business Process Compliance
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Chapter 21
M. Castellanos, A.K. Alves de Medeiros, J. Mendling, B. Weber, A.J.M.M. Weijters
Business Process Intelligence (BPI) is an emerging area that is getting increasingly popular for enterprises. The need to improve business process... Sample PDF
Business Process Intelligence
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Chapter 22
Diogo R. Ferreira
This chapter introduces the principles of sequence clustering and presents two case studies where the technique is used to discover behavioral... Sample PDF
Applied Sequence Clustering Techniques for Process Mining
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Chapter 23
Kamal Bhattacharya, Richard Hull, Jianwen Su
This chapter describes a design methodology for business processes and workflows that focuses first on “business artifacts”, which represent key... Sample PDF
A Data-Centric Design Methodology for Business Processes
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Chapter 24
Laura Sanchez, Andrea Delgado, Francisco Ruiz, Felix Garcia, Mario Piattini
The underlying premise of process management is that the quality of products and services is largely determined by the quality of the processes used... Sample PDF
Measurement and Maturity of Business Processes
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