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

Section: New Results

Business Process Management - Service Oriented Computing


Processes have received a lot of attention in the last decade and succeeded in proposing workflow solutions for office automation. The topic is subject again to a lot of interests carried by the expansion of business on the Web, but with the need to satisfy new application requirements and execution contexts. We are interested in different aspects of process engineering: the introduction of the flexibility requested to model the subtlety of user interactions in creative applications; modeling and implementing Quality of Services properties (time, security, ...constraints); composing existing process fragments of different nature and models; decentralizing a global process for a distributed execution with organizational constraints; process governance. Most of these aspects are considered in the frame of Web services and/or peer to peer architectures.

Task Delegation in Human-Centric Processes

Participants : François Charoy, Khaled Gaaloul.

One type of transparency and control supporting mechanism in human-centric decentralized collaboration is that of task delegation. In this objective we have deepened this concept in the context of human-centric collaborative workflows. In general, we investigate additional delegation requirements regarding the specification of advanced security and privacy mechanisms. It addresses the modeling and mapping of access rights to tasks and respective delegation and revocation of tasks. This work was conducted in the context of an R4eGov case study to identify the key distinguishing factors regarding collaboration as opposed to coordination. A Task Management system has been developed; it can be configured with different task models supporting different kinds of behaviors, including delegation among different organizations [24] , [26] , [42] .

Composing Services with Time Constraints

Participants : Claude Godart, Nawal Guermouche, Olivier Perrin.

We propose a framework for analyzing the choreography compatibility of a set of services supporting asynchronous communications and taking into account data flow and constraints over data involved when exchanging messages. Especially, we consider timed properties that specify delays to exchange messages. By studying the possible impacts of timed properties on a choreography, we remarked that when the Web services are interacting together, implicit timed dependencies can be inferred and give rise to implicit timed conflicts.

As most related works study choreographies of synchronous messages, we propose new formal primitives and a model checking process to discover deadlocks in the context of asynchronous data exchanges [28] , [27] . This work is implemented as an extension of the UPAAL environment.

Process Control Flow Decentralization and Distributed Enactment of Cross-Domain Service-Oriented Processes

Participants : Claude Godart, Walid Fdhila.

Web service paradigm and related technologies have provided favorable means for the realization of collaborative business processes. From both conceptual and implementation points of view, the business processes are based on a centralized management approach. Nevertheless, it is very well known that the enterprise-wide process management where processes may span multiple organizational units requires particular considerations on scalability, heterogeneity, availability and privacy issues, that in turn, require particular consideration on decentralization. For this purpose, we proposed a methodology for transforming a centralized process specification into a form that is amenable to a distributed execution and incorporated the necessary synchronization between different processing entities. The developed approach is applicable to a wide variety of service composition standards that follow the process management approach such as WS-BPEL. It has the advantage of being flexible that it computes the abstract constructs and provides a generalized approach to the decentralization of processes. Our approach [22] , [23] is based on the computation of very basic dependencies between process elements that provides a considerable level of understanding. The computation of basic dependencies has led, in turn, to the re-implementation of the semantics of a centralized specification with peer-to-peer interactions among the derived decentralized process specifications.

A Declarative Approach to Web Services Computing

Participants : Olivier Perrin, Ehtestam Zahoor.

Web services composition and monitoring are still highly active and widely studied research directions. Little work however has been done in integrating these two dimensions using an unified framework and formalism. Classical approaches introduce an additional layer for handling the composition monitoring and thus do not provide the important execution time violations feedback to the composition process. This year, we proposed the DISC framework which aims to provide a highly declarative event-oriented model to accommodate various aspects such as composition design and exceptions, data relationships and constraints, business calculations and decisions, compliance regulations, security or temporal requirements. Then, the same model is used for combining the control of the composition definition, its execution and the composition monitoring. We proposed a service oriented architecture with a flexible logic, including complex event patterns and choreographies, business oriented rules, and dynamic control of compositions. Advantages of this unified framework are the higher level of abstraction to design, execute, and reason upon a composition, the flexibility of the approach, and the ability to easily include non-functional requirements such as temporal or security issues. This work has been presented in [40] , [39] and we are in the process of implement the DISC framework using the Discrete Event Calculus reasoner.

The DISC framework is both an extension and a complete rewrite of a previous work on a pattern based strategy, called Mashup Processing Network (MPN) for building and validating mashups  [79] . The idea was based on both process patterns and on Event Processing Network. It was supposed to facilitate the creation, modeling and verification of mashups.

We also continued the previous work initiated within the Associate Team INRIA VanaWeb about the provisioning of Web services composition using constraints solvers. The approach consists in instantiating this abstract representation of a composite Web service by selecting the most appropriate concrete Web services. This instantiation is based on constraint programming techniques which allow matching Web services according to a given request. The proposal performs this instantiation in a distributed manner, i.e., the solvers for each service type are solving some constraints at one level, and they are forwarding the rest of the request (modified by the local solution) to the next services. When a service cannot provision part of the composition, a distributed backtrack mechanism enables to change previous solutions (i.e., provisions). A major interest of this approach is to preserve privacy: solutions are not sent to the whole composition, services know only the services to which they are connected, and parts of the request that are already solved are removed from the next requests [72] .

Process Change Management

Participants : François Charoy, Karim Dahmen, Claude Godart.

In the continuation of work done previously on change management during process execution, we are conducting work on the governance of change at the business level and on its implications at the architecture and infrastructure level. Following the work of Karim Dahmen's Master thesis  [69] , we are working on the analysis of the impact of a business change, generated by process execution monitoring to the whole transformation chain, from the business level (e.g. process models) to the IT level (e.g. architecture).

Crisis Management Processes

Participants : François Charoy, Joern Franke.

As said before, crisis management is a very promising domain to investigate new approaches in the domain of high value, human driven activity coordination. Our work can benefit from a large amount of use cases and detailed accounts of previous dramatic events to analyze requirements and confront our proposals. We have already invalidated the use of BPM system to support such coordination and we have started to develop a model that should be ready for first experimentation during the coming year. This model is founded on a distributed network of activities with advanced governance rules at the activity level. This work is conducted as a cooperation with SAP Research Sophia Antipolis and partially funded by a CIFRE Grant.


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