Overall Objectives
Scientific Foundations
Application Domains
New Results
Contracts and Grants with Industry
Other Grants and Activities

Section: Scientific Foundations

Process Engineering

Business Process Models - Workflow Models

An important research direction of ECOO concerns the coordination of a distributed team based on an explicit definition of working processes.

Traditional workflow models [71] , if they 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; they are too rigid to model the subtlety of interactions characterizing creative cooperative activities.

As a consequence, different approaches have been proposed to extend the traditional workflow approach towards cooperative applications. In this context, our main stream approach is to keep a traditional process description model but with a different semantic for integrating control and data flow flexibility.

Another emerging characteristic of our approach is the consideration that, in many applications, there is not one explicit process, but several interacting processes, potentially based on different models (functional, state-based, data-flow), and in some cases not explicitly defined.

Transactional Models for Processes

To be able to define properties of workflow executions, activities are generally considered as black boxes executing as ACID transactions. Unfortunately, ACIDity seems antagonistic with cooperation, cooperative processes being of long duration, of uncertain development, dynamically defined and mobile. Especially, the Isolation property seems problematic for interacting activities exchanging intermediate results in complex feedback loops. To overcome the limits of traditional transaction models, several well founded or exotic models have been proposed.

Regarding the transactional issue, in the vein of  [76] , and in the aforementioned objective of multi-model process integration, we are concerned with the concurrency control and atomicity of transactional processes. This can be sketched in a top-down or in a bottom-up perspective. For both perspectives, we are developing a transactional framework to provide active support for transactional activities composition and composition evaluation.


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