Knowledge management using business process modelling and workflow techniques
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Knowledge Management using Business Process Modelling and Workflow Techniques. MSc in Artificial Intelligence. Student: Hsiang-Ling Kuo Supervisor: Jessica Chen-Burger Dave Robertson. Outline. Problem & Solution Aim Work Conclusion Future Work. Problem.

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Knowledge Management using Business Process Modelling and Workflow Techniques

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Knowledge Management using Business Process Modelling and Workflow Techniques

MSc in Artificial Intelligence

Student: Hsiang-Ling Kuo

Supervisor: Jessica Chen-Burger

Dave Robertson

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Outline

  • Problem & Solution

  • Aim

  • Work

  • Conclusion

  • Future Work

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Problem

  • Business are becoming larger and more diverse, the operation is more complex than before

  • Information technology is widely applied in business operations, it still lacks a precise way of communicating between business model and software system development.

  • The “gap” between Enterprise Models (EM) and Software Systems

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Bridging The Gap between EM and Software Systems

Enterprise Models (EM)

Software System

Development

Business

Model

Relational

DBMS

Workflow

System

Business Process

Model

Automating BPM

OO DBMS

Other Software

Systems

Organisational

Model

Mapping of Data Structure

+ Concepts

Ontology

UML Class

Diagram

Capability

Model

Quality

Assurance

Data Model

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Solutions

  • Make use of one type of EM method: Business Process Modelling (BPM) Method to bridge the gap

  • Build a workflow system (WFS) based on a business process model

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Aim

  • Design a formal representation (called FBPML WorkFlow Language “FWFL”) that has a direct mapping to FBPML

  • Design and implement a generic workflow system that is domain independent and has a direct mapping to FBPML + FWFL and its execution logic, but is open in its implementation details to allow multiple variations according to context

  • Design a three-level framework to analyse the business process model

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Work

  • Review standard process modelling languages, IDEF3 and PSL, then introduce a business process modelling language “FBPML” resulting from their merger

  • Create a formal representation and define a workflow language called “FWFL” based on “FBPML”

  • Design and implement a workflow engine based on FWFL and demonstrate it using case studies

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Work (Cont.)

  • Describe a three-level framework to verify and analyse the business process

  • Discuss the complexity of business process models is discussed

  • The comparison between FBPML + FWFL, the application of Petri-Nets to workflow management and the research work done in the University of Queensland

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Review

  • IDEF3

    • A process flow and object state description capture method

    • A domain expert can express knowledge about the operation of a particular system or organization

    • A well-throughout graphic notation

  • PSL (Process Specification Language)

    • An interchange language with which allows applications to exchange discrete process data

    • Facilitates the communication between those applications by using PSL-based translators

    • A well-defined ontology and formal semantics

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Fundamental Business Process Modelling Language (FBPML)

  • FBPML

    • A visual modelling language that is a merger of IDEF3 and PSL

    • It can support software and workflow system development

  • The notation of FBPML

    • Three types of nodes: Main Node, Junction and Annotation

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


FBPML--Main Nodes and Junction Types

Source: Chen-Burger (AKT project)

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


The semantics of four types of junctions

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


A Business Model example using FBPML

Adapted form AKT project

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


FBPML WorkFlow Language -- FWFL

  • A workflow language which is directly mapped to FBPML

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


The Definition of FWFL-- process

process(ProcessId, ProcessName, Pstate, TrigCond, PreCond, Action)

  • Example 1:

  • process(a, receiveCustomerReq, Pstate,

  • [exist(event_occ(EventId,custom_req_for_pc_spec,created,

  • attribute(Attr)))],

  • [true],

  • [create_entity(attribute(Attr))]).

  • Example 2:

  • process(b, autoCreateOrderNumber, Pstate,

  • [true],

  • [exist(data([customer-name/NameV,customer-tel/telV])),

  • delay_time(4)],

  • [add_attribute(attribute([solution([customer-

  • orderNo/OrderNoV])]))]).

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


The Definition of FWFL-- instance

instance(InstanceId, InstanceName, Istate,

TrigCond,

PreCond,

Action,

BeginT/EndT)

  • Example 3: (The instance of example 2)

  • instance(b-i-'John',autoCreateOrderNumber,Istate,

  • [true],

  • [exist(data([customer-name/'John',customer-tel/'0131-5323241])),

  • delay_time(4)],

  • [add_attribute(attribute([solution([customer-orderNo/'001'])]))]),

  • 1/2).

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


The Definition of FWFL -- entity

entity(EntityName, EntityId, EntityState, EntityAttribute)

  • Example 4:

  • entity_occ(ioBoard, io2, valid,

  • attribute([ioBoard-type/io2, ioBoard-slot/4,

  • ioBoard-length/long,

  • ioBoard-capability/(normal-graphics-long)]))

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


The Definition of FWFL -- Junction and Model

junc(ModelId, JunctionType, PreProcesses, PostProcesses)

  • Example 5:

  • junc(m1,start,[],[a]).

  • junc(m1,link,[a],[b]).

  • junc(m1,or_split,[b],[c,d,e,f,g]).

  • junc(m1,and_joint,[c,d,e,f,g],[h]).

  • junc(m1,end,[h],[]).

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


FWFL Workflow system Architecture

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


FWFL Workflow System Flowchart

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Workflow Meta-Interpreter

*** Top level ****

execute(Step):-

initial_state(flow_state(FState,T)),

execute_flow([initial],[],1,Step,T,flow_state(FState,T)).

*** main predicate ***

% BaseCase: Compare "StepSofar" and termination "Step" which is

given from the user. If Step = 'User define' then exit flow.

execute_flow(MState,ProcessAgenda,StepSofar,Step,T,flow_state(FState,T)) :- Step is StepSofar - 1.

% Another baseCase: at the end of each Model State and ProcessAgenda=[] then exit flow.

execute_flow(MState,[],StepSofar,Step,T,flow_state(FState,T)):- check_mstate(MState).

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Workflow Meta-Interpreter

% Case1: When there are new events, create instances of the business process model.

execute_flow(MState,ProcessAgenda,StepSofar,Step,T,flow_state(FState,T)):-

check_event(MState,NewMState),

execute_flow(NewMState,ProcessAgenda,StepSofar,Step,T,flow_state(FState,T)).

% Case2: When there are no new events, execute the junctions for the instances of the business process model.

execute_flow(MState,ProcessAgenda,StepSofar,Step,T,flow_state(FState,T)):-

\+ check_event(MState,_NewMState),

do_junction_process(MState,[],NewMState,ProcessAgenda,

NewProAgenda,FState,T),

execute_process(NewProAgenda,NewProAgenda,NewProAgenda1,FState,NFs,T),

update_time(T,NewT),

update_step(StepSofar,NewStep),

execute_flow(NewMState,NewProAgenda1,NewStep,Step,NewT,

flow_state(NFs,NewT)).

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Workflow Meta-Interpreter

% Case3: When there are no new events and execution failure of the junctions for the instances of the business process model.

execute_flow(MState,ProcessAgenda,StepSofar,Step,T,flow_state(FState,T)):-

\+ check_event(MState,NewMState),

\+ do_junction_process(MState,[],NewMState,ProcessAgenda,

NewProAgenda,FState,T),

execute_process(ProcessAgenda,ProcessAgenda,NewProAgenda,FState,NFs,T),

update_time(T,NewT),

update_step(StepSofar,NewStep),

execute_flow(MState,NewProAgenda,NewStep,Step,NewT,flow_state(NFs,NewT)).

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


State Transaction Diagram

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Three-level Framework

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Model Behavior Level

  • Considers the overall model behavior to find the appropriate topology for the BPM

  • Carries out the syntactic critiques

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Syntactic Critiques

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Detailed Model Testing Level

  • Captures the topology features from level 1, eliminates impossible execution sequences

  • Carries out the semantic critiques

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Semantic Critiques

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Instantiation of Business Scenario Level

  • Executes the business process model using business scenarios (entity data) in a particular domain and attempts to validate the model

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Complexity of a Single Model

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Results of Complexity

  • The “Or_split” and “Or_Joint” have the greatest influence on the complexity

  • The complexity of a business process model has at least the factorial rate of growth. It is impossible to carry out all the possible execution results

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Complexity of Combined Models

  • A model finishing with an And_Joint junction

  • A model finishing with an Or_Joint junction

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


A model finishing with an And_Joint junction

The possible execution sequence 2! * 3! = 12

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


A model finishing with an Or_Joint junction

Assumption: all the triggered processes must be finished before the final process of each connected model

The complexity is O(n+m)!

When m=0, it represents the complexity of the “And-Or” model

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Conclusions

  • Because the formal semantics and graphic notation of FBPML and the formal representation of FWFL which is directly mapping to FBPML, a business process may be easily defined and executed through a simple procedure

  • The workflow meta-interpreter is based on FBPML + FWFL, it accepts the input specifications and execute the business process model directly

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Conclusions (Cont.)

  • The three level-framework provides a thorough test, which is useful when analysing a business process model

  • The complexity of a business process model has at least the factorial rate of growth. It is impossible to carry out all the possible execution results

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Future Work

  • The FWFL workflow language should be enhanced, especially focusing on the formal specification of the communication issues

  • The priority issue among processes and “Role” concept should be involved in the FWFL workflow engine

  • More clear definition of validation and verification in a business process model

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


Future Work (cont.)

  • Consider the decomposition and iteration of the business process

  • A graphic user interface may be integrated into FWFL

  • Resources management may be considered as part of the workflow system

sharlene.kuo@ed.ac.uk


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