Project : ecoo
Section: Scientific Foundations
Process modeling, Workflow.
An important research direction of ECOO concerns the coordination based on an explicit definition of working processes (workflow).
Traditional workflow models , if there seem a good starting point for this modeling activity, suffer from a lack of flexibility in both control flow and data flow definition and interpretation; there are too rigid to model the subtlety of interactions characterizing creative cooperative activities. As a consequences, different approaches have been proposed to extend the workflow approach towards cooperative applications: the process as a resource for action, i.e. a guide but not a constraint; the process as an entity that can evolve dynamically following a set of evolution rules; evolving the process model with new operators for more flexible executions.
Our position consists in conserving a traditional process model but with a different semantics based, on the one hand on a new interpretation of control flow connectors thanks to anticipation, and on the other hand on encapsulation of activities in cooperative transactions. Another emerging characteristics of our approach is the consideration that several processes potentially based on different models must co-habit in a real application. In addition, they can initially ignore each other.