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INFS4201 Distributed Enterprise Computing Module 1: Workflow Systems. Semester 2, 2002 School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Module 1 Lectures. Overview of Workflow Systems Workflow Modeling Workflow Process Change Workflow Management Standards, Trends, Products.

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infs4201 distributed enterprise computing module 1 workflow systems

INFS4201Distributed Enterprise ComputingModule 1: Workflow Systems

Semester 2, 2002

School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

module 1 lectures
Module 1 Lectures
  • Overview of Workflow Systems
  • Workflow Modeling
  • Workflow Process Change
  • Workflow Management
  • Standards, Trends, Products

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

history of process orientation
History of Process Orientation

The age of theCrafts Worker

Pre Industrial Revolution

Process and Product, one in the same

Measuring the work, measured the result

The age of theFactory

The age of theSpecialist

Process Orientation

Process Re-engineering

Source: Sharp and Mcdermott (2000)

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

history of process orientation4
History of Process Orientation

The age of theCrafts Worker

The age of theFactory

Industrial Revolution

Divide and Conquer

Specialization, Productivity, Scale

The age of theSpecialist

Process Orientation

Process Re-engineering

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

history of process orientation5
History of Process Orientation

The age of theCrafts Worker

Post Industrial Revolution

Service based industries

Management, Control, White-collar workers, Bureaucracy

High efficiency within functional divisions

The age of theFactory

The age of theSpecialist

Process Orientation

Highly fragmented process made it difficult to view, measure or improve the overall process

Due to inward focus, activities and methods that benefited the functional division, but produced no value for, and in some cases negated the overall process

A function’s practice that increased efficiency, such as batching, (re)entering the data, caused delay, error and expense on the overall process

Process Re-engineering

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

history of process orientation6
History of Process Orientation

The age of theCrafts Worker

1980s – Reference to cross-functional Business Processes

Process: “A complete end-to-end set of activites that together create value for a customer”

The age of theFactory

The age of theSpecialist

Process Orientation

Enter: 1985 – 1993

Misconceptions: Application of IT, Downsizing and Outsourcing

Exit: 1994 – 1995

Process Re-engineering

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

process orientation
Process Orientation
  • Re-engineering didn’t survive, but process orientation did!
  • Merging of process management methods
    • Continuos Process Improvement (CPI)
    • Total Quality Management (TQM)
    • Business Process Re-engineering (BPR)

Closer integration of business process management with process support systems

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

elements of process analysis
Elements of Process Analysis

Business mission, strategy, and goals

Business process

Information Systems

Presentation

Application logic

Data management

Source: Sharp and Mcdermott (2000)

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

process design methodology
Process Design Methodology
  • A methodology for process (re)design
    • Frame the process
    • Understand the current (as-is) process
    • Design the new (to-be) process
    • Develop use-case scenarios

Source: Sharp and Mcdermott (2000)

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

process enablers

work flow design

information

technology

policies & rules

motivation &measurement

human resources

facilities &infrastructure

Process Enablers
  • What are the factors that will help a process
    • achieve intended results
    • meet performance targets
    • within application constraints

Business

Issues!

Process Enablers

Source: Sharp and Mcdermott (2000)

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

process modelling context
Process Modelling Context

Business

Workflow

ProcessEngineering

ProcessModelling

ApplicationDesign

Data Design

Functional

Data

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

suggested reading
Suggested Reading
  • Sharp and McDermott (2001) Workflow Modelling: Tools for Process Improvement and Application Development. Chapter 3

INFS4201 Handout 2

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

workflow modeling
Workflow Modeling
  • Many languages invented with individual product developments
  • Petri Nets - most research papers
  • Many complex issues on expressability and verifiability
  • Little impact of research on products

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

workflow modelling perspectives
Primary

Functional

Informational

Behavioural

Operational

Organizational

Secondary

Security

Causality

History

Integrity

Quality

Workflow Modelling Perspectives

Source: Jablonski and Bussler (1996)

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

primary modelling perspectives
Primary Modelling Perspectives
  • FunctionalWhat is to be performed
  • InformationalWhat information is required
  • BehaviouralWhen it is performed
  • OperationalHow it is performed
  • OrganizationalWho performs it

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

primary modelling perspectives16
Primary Modelling Perspectives
  • FunctionalWhat is to be performedActivities and Sub-processes

WorkflowActivity 1

WorkflowActivity 2

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

primary modelling perspectives17

AB

AX

ImplicitData Flow

ExplicitData Flow

Workflow Relevant Data

AXY

AZ

Primary Modelling Perspectives
  • InformationalWhat information is requiredInput and Output data

WorkflowActivity 1

WorkflowActivity 2

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

primary modelling perspectives18
Primary Modelling Perspectives
  • BehaviouralWhen it is performedControl Flow
      • Dependency between workflow activities
      • Typical structures that represent this dependency:
        • Sequential execution
        • Concurrent execution
        • Alternative execution
        • ….

Temporal Constraints

      • Durations (Single, Interval)
      • Deadlines (Absolute and Relative)
      • Interdependent time limits

WorkflowActivity 1

WorkflowActivity 2

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

primary modelling perspectives19
Primary Modelling Perspectives
  • OperationalHow it is performedWorkflow Relevant Applications
      • Degree of modification (workflow aware applications)
      • System support (manual or automated)
      • Granularity (functional complexity)
      • Scope (manipulating workflow control data or only application data)
      • Coupling (integration between application and WFMS)
      • Invocation mode (synchronously or asynchronously)
      • Interaction mode (interactive or batch)

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

primary modelling perspectives20
Primary Modelling Perspectives
  • OrganizationalWho performs itWorkflow Participants
      • Organizational Structure (units & roles)
      • Organizational Population (people)
      • Organizational Policy
        • Selection
          • All users in a given role
          • Based on instance data
          • Finding substitutes
          • Load balancing
        • Notification
          • All users satisfying the selection criteria are notified
        • Binding (Synchronizing)
          • Typically 1-out-of-many

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

secondary modelling perspectives
Secondary Modelling Perspectives
  • SecurityWho is allowed accessPotential conflict with selection policies
  • CausalityDoes the model abide by the business policies, rules and strategies
  • HistoryWhat happened during executionAudit trail / workflow logs
        • System context of Audit trail
          • Queries on history (who performed this activity)
          • Failure and recovery (determine last consistent state)
        • Application context of Audit trail
          • Analysis (temporal constraints, participant loads, exceptions)
          • Evolution and Improvement (semantic failures)

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

secondary modelling perspectives22
Secondary Modelling Perspectives
  • Integrity How to recover from failuresSemantic and System failures
  • QualityHow to ensure “quality”Typically cost and time function

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

suggested reading23
Suggested Reading
  • Jablonski and Bussler (1996) Workflow Management – Modelling Concepts, Architecture and Implementation. Chapter 6.

INFS4201 Handout 2

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

workflow languages
Workflow Languages
  • Formal Languages
    • Petri Nets
    • Process Algebra
    • Computation Tree Logic
  • Commercial Languages
    • Flowmark (MQSeries), Forte, Action, Staffware, …
    • See Workflow Vendors at www.waria.org
  • Research Proposals
    • Adept, Wide, Mobile, METEOR, TRAMs, WAMO, …
    • See Workflow Prototypes at http://www.ifi.unizh.ch/dbtg/Links/workflow.html
  • Standards
    • Workflow Management Coalition
    • Business Process Modelling Initiative
    • Web Services Definition Language
    • XLANG Business Process Language

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

petri nets based workflow models
Petri-Nets based Workflow Models
  • WF Nets [Van der Aalst W.M.P.]
  • Information Control Nets [Ellis C.A., Nutt G. J.]
  • Temporal Constraint Petri Net [Adam N. R., et al]
  • Modular Process Nets [Wikarski D.]
  • Coloured Petri Nets [Merz M., et al]
  • Reconfigurable Nets [Badouel E., Oliver J.]
  • Higher Order Object Nets [Wikarski D., Han Y., Lowe M.]

Source: Gerrit K. Janssens, Jan Verelst, Bart Weyn. (2000)

Source: http://tmitwww.tm.tue.nl/staff/wvdaalst/Petri_nets/pn_tutorial.htm

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

a workflow language
A Workflow Language
  • Generic language with a small number of constructs
  • Sufficient expressiveness for a wide variety of process requirements
  • Simplicity provides rigorous analysis and verifiability
  • Developed jointly by DSTC and UQ researchers (1995 – 2001)
  • Supported by a process modelling and verification tool

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

fundamental modeling aspects
Fundamental Modeling Aspects
  • Structure
    • Control Flow
  • Data
    • Input and Output
  • Time
    • Deadlines and Durations
  • Resources
    • Applications, Roles, Performers

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

core structures

Begin

A

B

Fork

C

D

E

Choice

Synchronizer

G

F

S

Merge

Do

L

While

Synchronizer

End

Core Structures
  • Sequence
  • And Split
  • And Join
  • Or Split
  • Or Join
  • Nesting
  • Iteration
  • Termination

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

example
Example

Approval from

Choice

Finance Director

US$

Payment

Approve

Reject

Begin

Choice

Request

A$

Prepare Cheque

Prepare Cheque

Inform Employee

for ANZ Bank

for CITIBANK

about Rejection

Merge

Fork

Update Accounts

Get Signatures

Database

from Finance Director

Issue Cheque

Synchronizer

Merge

File Payment

Request

End

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

alternative modelling approach
Alternative Modelling Approach
  • More intuitive 
  • Less graph nodes 
  • Implicit semantics 

Implicit

Representation

Mapping from Explicit to Implicit Representation

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

extended modelling structures
Extended Modelling Structures
  • Multiple choice
  • Multiple merge
  • N-out-of-M join
  • Implicit Termination

Source:http://tmitwww.tm.tue.nl/research/patterns/

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

multiple choice
Multiple Choice

The choice of braches after an or-split is not exclusive

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

multiple merge
Multiple Merge

The merge can have more than one incoming branch

Subsequent activities will be activated as many times

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

n out of m join
N-out-of-M Join

Waits for a given number of braches and then ignores (cancels) the remaining

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

implicit termination
Implicit Termination

Process is complete when there are no active activities left

{B, D, E}

represent terminating nodes (activities)

Explicit, unique terminating node

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

exercise 1
Exercise 1

Think of examples where the core modelling structures would not be sufficient

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

language syntax
Language Syntax

Core Modelling Structures for Explicit representation

  • Let G = <N, F> be a graph where N: Finite Set of Nodes, F: Flow Relation F  N  N
  •  n  N, NodeType: n  {Coordinator, Task}
  • N = C  T, C  T =  where C: Set of Coordinator Nodes, T: Set of Task Nodes
  •  n  C, CoordType: n  {Fork, Synchronize, Choice, Merge, Begin, End, Do, While}
  • Let P be a directed path in G, such that P = {n1, n2, …, nk}, (ni, ni+1)  F for i = 1, 2, …, k-1
  • Let Nat : Set of Natural Numbers, NId : Set of Node Identifiers
  •  n  N, I: N  Nat, I(n) : Number of incoming flows for node n
  •  n  N, O: N  Nat, O(n) : Number of outgoing flows for node n

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

structural specification
Structural Specification

A Workflow is a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) W = <N, F> such that

 n  C, s.t. I(n) = 0  (  m  N, s.t. I(m) = 0  m  n ), we call this Begin Node n0 and CoordType (n0) = Begin

 n  C, s.t. O(n) = 0  (  m  N, s.t. O(m) = 0  m  n ), we call this End Node nf and CoordType (nf) = End

 n  N,  P, s.t. P = {n0, …n, …, nf }

 n  C, I(n)  2  O(n)  2 where n  n0 and n  nf

 n  T, I(n) + O(n) > 1 where n  n0 and n  nf

 n  T, TaskType: T  {Activity, SubProcess}, Activity represents a single task and SubProcess represent nesting.

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

basic meta model for process
Basic Meta-model for Process

refers to

m

m

PID

Sub-Process

Process

1

1

Activity

d

Contains

Contains

From

Task

m

m

m

1

Name

Nodes

Transitions

d

m

1

Condition

Coordinator

To

NID

TID

Type

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

basic meta model for activity
Basic Meta-model for Activity

Temporal

Compensation

Properties

Input

1

WFVar

m

m

Performed

Activity

Control Data

by

VarType

1

1

m

1

1

RoleID

Output

Role

Invokes

RoleName

m

Maps to

Consumes

1

1

1

Assigned

m

AppVar

to

Application Data

Application

m

VarType

1

m

PerfID

Generates

Performer

AppID

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

flowmake
FlowMake
  • Modelling, Analysis and Verification of Workflow models
  • Objectives
    • Simple modelling language
    • Correctness criteria
    • Verification algorithms
    • Modelling and verification tool

Download available from course website

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

slide42
INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

flowmake components
FlowMake Components

Relational Database

Verification

Engine

Persistence

Interface

C++ Object Serialization

Workflow Editor

Canvassing Tools Library

IBM FlowMark

Enterprise

Interface

Product

Interface

MincomMIMS/Verve

ParticipantAssignment

Application Handler

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

flowmake demonstration
FlowMake: Demonstration
  • Developed in Microsoft Visual C++
  • Fast and compact
  • User-friendly WF Editor
  • Verification and Analysis
  • Object-oriented design
  • Easily extensible
  • Implements DSTC research
  • Product interfaces

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

exercise 2
Exercise 2

Make a new model in FlowMake for (any or all)

  • Library loans
  • Insurance claims
  • Car rental
  • University admission

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

workflow verification
Workflow Verification
  • Semantic VerificationVerify that the model is in conformance with the business process goals
  • Syntactic VerificationVerify that the model is in conformance with the grammar of the language
  • Structural VerificationVerify that the model will not lead to erroneous execution

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

syntactic errors
Syntactic Errors
  • An activity node cannot have more than one incoming/outgoing flows (explicit representation)
  • Reachablity of nodes (Graph must not be disconnected)
  • Multiple (initial) final activities

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

structural errors
Structural Errors
  • Mostly represent errors in control flow specification
  • Incorrect specification of data, time and resources will also generate error in execution

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

data time and resource conflicts

AB

AX

AXY

AZ

Data, Time and Resource Conflicts
  • Data Conflicts
    • Missing data
    • Lost data
  • Temporal Conflicts
  • Resource Conflicts

WorkflowActivity 1

WorkflowActivity 2

Missing data: Where is Y coming from

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

data time and resource conflicts50
Data, Time and Resource Conflicts
  • Data Conflicts
    • Missing data
    • Lost data
  • Temporal Conflicts
  • Resource Conflicts

Fork

AB

WorkflowActivity 1

X

Y

AC

WorkflowActivity 2

XZ

Lost data:

What will be the value of X

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

data time and resource conflicts51
Data, Time and Resource Conflicts
  • Data Conflicts
  • Temporal Conflicts
    • Temporal Consistency
      • Build Time
      • Run Time
  • Resource Conflicts

A

Duration Constraint: Minimum time is 7 hours

B

Interdependent Constraint: Must be completed within 3 hours after completion of task A

C

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

data time and resource conflicts52
Data, Time and Resource Conflicts
  • Data Conflicts
  • Temporal Conflicts
    • Temporal Consistency
      • Build Time
      • Run Time
        • Instance Initiation
        • Decision points
  • Resource Conflicts

A

Duration Constraint: Minimum time is 3 days

<Started on 1/1/02>

B

Deadline Constraint: Must be completed by 2/1/02

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

data time and resource conflicts53
Data, Time and Resource Conflicts
  • Data Conflicts
  • Temporal Conflicts
  • Resource Conflicts
    • Incomplete specification
      • Role is assigned to activities, but no participants are bound to that role
    • Access and Role Conflicts
      • Participant does not have access to activity A, but is assigned a role that can perform activity A
    • Other … ?

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

exercise 3
Exercise 3

Any other data, time or resource conflicts?

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

control flow conflicts

Correct

Deadlock

Lack of Synchronization

Control Flow Conflicts
  • Deadlock: Synchronizing alternative paths
  • Lack of synchronization: Merging concurrent paths

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

Note: Implicit representation

deadlocks
Deadlocks

Payment

Payment

Payment

Request

Request

Request

US$

US$

Approval from

Approval from

Finance Director

Finance Director

A$

A$

Rejected

Approved

Approved

Prepare Cheque

Prepare Cheque

Prepare Cheque

Prepare Cheque

Reject

for ANZ Bank

for CITIBANK

for ANZ Bank

for CITIBANK

Request

Update

Update

Update

Get Signatures from

Get Signatures from

Accounts

Accounts

Accounts

Finance Director

Finance Director

Database

Database

Database

Issue

Issue

Issue

Cheque

Cheque

Cheque

File Payment

File Payment

Request

Request

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

lack of synchronization
Lack of Synchronization

Payment

Payment

Payment

Request

Request

Request

US$

US$

A$

A$

Prepare Cheque

Prepare Cheque

Prepare Cheque

Prepare Cheque

for CITIBANK

for ANZ Bank

for CITIBANK

for ANZ Bank

Signatures from

Transfer to

Signatures

Signatures from

Transfer to

Signatures

Finance Director

US$ Account

from Manager

Finance Director

US$ Account

from Manager

Update

Update

Update

Update

Accounts

Accounts

Accounts

Accounts

Database

Database

Database

Database

Issue

Issue

Issue

Issue

Cheque

Cheque

Cheque

Cheque

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

correct workflow models
Correct Workflow Models

Payment

Payment

Request

Request

US$

Approval from

Finance Director

US$

A$

A$

Prepare Cheque

Prepare Cheque

for ANZ Bank

for CITIBANK

Rejected

Approved

Prepare Cheque

Prepare Cheque

Reject

for ANZ Bank

for CITIBANK

Request

Signatures

Signatures from

Transfer to

from Manager

Finance Director

US$ Account

Update

Get Signatures from

Accounts

Finance Director

Database

Null Task

Update

Accounts

Database

Issue

Cheque

File Payment

Issue

Request

Cheque

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

control flow verification
Control Flow Verification

Based on the concept of an instance subgraphs

  • An instance sub-graph represents a subset of nodes (workflow tasks) that may be executed for a particular instance of a workflow
  • It can be generated by visiting the nodes of a workflow graph on the basis of the semantics of underlying control flow constructs
  • In the language under consideration, the “Choice” construct produces more than 1 instance sub-graph
  • If there is one choice construct, then number of instance sub-graphs would be = number of outgoing flows of the choice coordinator
  • Number of instance graphs increase exponentially with the number of choice-merge constructs
  • A brute force method of generating all possible instance sub-graphs is not computationally effective

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

instance sub graphs
Instance Sub-graphs

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

correctness criteria
Correctness Criteria
  • Criteria 1: Deadlock free workflow graphs
    • A workflow graph is free of deadlock structural conflicts if it does not generate an instance sub-graph that contains only a proper subset of the incoming nodes of a synchronizer node
  • Criteria 2: Lack of synchronization free workflow graphs
    • A workflow graph is free of lack of synchronization structural conflicts if it does not generate an instance sub=graph that contains more than one incoming nodes of a merge node.

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

cf verification based on reduction
CF Verification based on Reduction
  • Remove all such structures within a workflow graph that are definitely correct
  • A conflict-preserving reduction process is iteratively applied
  • A structurally correct graph would reduce to an empty graph
  • A workflow graph containing structural conflicts is not completely reduced

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

reduction rules
Reduction Rules
  • Terminal Reduction
  • Sequential Reduction
  • Adjacent Reduction
  • Closed Reduction
  • Overlapping Reduction

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

applying reduction rules
Applying Reduction Rules

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

applying reduction rules65
Applying Reduction Rules

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

reduction algorithm
Reduction Algorithm

Reducing a Structurally Correct Workflow Graph

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

reduction algorithm67
Reduction Algorithm

Reducing a Structurally Incorrect Workflow Graph

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

suggested reading68
Suggested Reading
  • Wasim Sadiq and Maria E. Orlowska. On Capturing Process Requirements of Workflow Based Business Information Systems. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Business Information Systems (BIS \'99) , Poznan, Poland, 14-16 April 1999. pp. 195-209. Springer-Verlag.
  • Wasim Sadiq and Maria E. Orlowska. Analysing Process Models using Graph Reduction Techniques. Information Systems, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 117-134, 2000. Elsevier Science. June 2000.

INFS4201 Handout 2

INFS4201 Module 1

 School of ITEE, University of Queensland

module 1

Module 1

Workflow Modelling

Next: Workflow Change Management

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