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Über dieses Buch

This book provides the most complete formal specification of the semantics of the Business Process Model and Notation 2.0 standard (BPMN) available to date, in a style that is easily understandable for a wide range of readers – not only for experts in formal methods, but e.g. also for developers of modeling tools, software architects, or graduate students specializing in business process management.

BPMN – issued by the Object Management Group – is a widely used standard for business process modeling. However, major drawbacks of BPMN include its limited support for organizational modeling, its only implicit expression of modalities, and its lack of integrated user interaction and data modeling. Further, in many cases the syntactical and, in particular, semantic definitions of BPMN are inaccurate, incomplete or inconsistent. The book addresses concrete issues concerning the execution semantics of business processes and provides a formal definition of BPMN process diagrams, which can serve as a sound basis for further extensions, i.e., in the form of horizontal refinements of the core language.

To this end, the Abstract State Machine (ASMs) method is used to formalize the semantics of BPMN. ASMs have demonstrated their value in various domains, e.g. specifying the semantics of programming or modeling languages, verifying the specification of the Java Virtual Machine, or formalizing the ITIL change management process.

This kind of improvement promotes more consistency in the interpretation of comprehensive models, as well as real exchangeability of models between different tools. In the outlook at the end of the book, the authors conclude with proposing extensions that address actor modeling (including an intuitive way to denote permissions and obligations), integration of user-centric views, a refined communication concept, and data integration.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

e hardly need to point out the importance of business process modelling and of respective automation in this place (see, e.g. [39, 45, 58, 110, 141]).
Felix Kossak, Christa Illibauer, Verena Geist, Jan Kubovy, Christine Natschläger, Thomas Ziebermayr, Theodorich Kopetzky, Bernhard Freudenthaler, Klaus-Dieter Schewe

Chapter 2. State of the Art

This section provides an overview of related work concerning established approaches for business process modelling , formal representations of the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) and the suitability of BPMN for business process modelling regarding gaps and limitations.
Felix Kossak, Christa Illibauer, Verena Geist, Jan Kubovy, Christine Natschläger, Thomas Ziebermayr, Theodorich Kopetzky, Bernhard Freudenthaler, Klaus-Dieter Schewe

Chapter 3. Modelling Semantics with Abstract State Machines

While we deem the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0 standard an important milestone in the evolution of business process modelling , we found numerous ambiguities, gaps and inconsistencies in the semantics described there (even though it claims that “the BPMN execution semantics have been fully formalized” (in version 2.0) [95, p. 10]). If we want to achieve uniform and unambiguous interpretation of models and reliable exchange of models between different tools, we need a consistent and unambiguous description of the semantics. Yet any such description of the semantics still has to be intelligible for a large class of potential readers and users.
Felix Kossak, Christa Illibauer, Verena Geist, Jan Kubovy, Christine Natschläger, Thomas Ziebermayr, Theodorich Kopetzky, Bernhard Freudenthaler, Klaus-Dieter Schewe

Chapter 4. A Rigorous Semantics for BPMN 2.0 Process Diagrams

In this chapter we present an Abstract State Machine (ASM) ground model designed to rigorously specify the semantics of Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) Process Diagrams, based on the BPMN 2.0 standard [95]. However, we deviate from the standard in several points, having identified several inconsistencies as well as ambiguities there. Moreover, we are not convinced that every construct in the standard is really helpful. We discuss these issues in detail.
Felix Kossak, Christa Illibauer, Verena Geist, Jan Kubovy, Christine Natschläger, Thomas Ziebermayr, Theodorich Kopetzky, Bernhard Freudenthaler, Klaus-Dieter Schewe

Chapter 5. How the Semantic Model Can Be Used

In this chapter, we discuss the advantages and possible uses of a formal semantic model of a business process modelling language like the one presented in Chap. 4.
Felix Kossak, Christa Illibauer, Verena Geist, Jan Kubovy, Christine Natschläger, Thomas Ziebermayr, Theodorich Kopetzky, Bernhard Freudenthaler, Klaus-Dieter Schewe

Chapter 6. A Discussion of BPMN 2.0

The semantic model for the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0 presented in Chap. 4 deviates from the OMG’s standard in several places. In this chapter, we discuss and justify those deviations. Furthermore, we discuss miscellaneous other features of BPMN 2.0 as it is and make further suggestions for improvements. A detailed specification of these further changes in terms of a formal, semantic model for business process diagrams in general will be subject to a separate publication.
Felix Kossak, Christa Illibauer, Verena Geist, Jan Kubovy, Christine Natschläger, Thomas Ziebermayr, Theodorich Kopetzky, Bernhard Freudenthaler, Klaus-Dieter Schewe

Chapter 7. Towards a Workflow Engine by Stepwise Refinement

In this chapter we propose an approach for stepwise refinement of the rigorous semantics for Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) Process Diagrams presented in Chap. 4. The suggested approach hence fills the gap between an Abstract State Machine (ASM) ground model and a common workflow engine, such as Red Hat JBoss [109], Activiti [5], Bonita Execution Engine [16], Route [77] or Enhydra Shark [135]. We base the refinement approach on the definition of a specific notification concept. This concept implements the event flow by allowing notifications to be passed through a context tree in a similar way as tokens are passed through sequence flows. This also enables communication with a process from the outside world by putting notifications on the top of the context tree.
Felix Kossak, Christa Illibauer, Verena Geist, Jan Kubovy, Christine Natschläger, Thomas Ziebermayr, Theodorich Kopetzky, Bernhard Freudenthaler, Klaus-Dieter Schewe

Chapter 8. Discussion of the Proposed Specification and Outlook

In this chapter, we discuss our approach, including the changes we propose for the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) . We further discuss future research work on several extensions to the core language which targets business process diagrams and primarily expresses the flow of activities.
Felix Kossak, Christa Illibauer, Verena Geist, Jan Kubovy, Christine Natschläger, Thomas Ziebermayr, Theodorich Kopetzky, Bernhard Freudenthaler, Klaus-Dieter Schewe

Backmatter

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