A Canonical Form for the Definition, Querying, and Manipulation of Workflows
Henry H. Bi
Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University
Smeal College of Business
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Information Technologies and Systems (WITS 2004), pp. 26-31, Washington, D.C., USA, December 11-12, 2004
In this paper, we show a novel way for describing workflows in a canonical form (C-form) and demonstrate its advantages. The C-form consists of basic workflow constructs such as sequence, parallel, choice, and looping. It allows us to write workflow schemas and instances as strings which can be queried easily using string operations. Examples of possible queries are given. We also show that more complex workflow patterns can be mapped into the C-form. Thus, the C-form is a convenient way for storing workflow descriptions and exchanging them with other partners. Since different partners may use different workflow modeling languages, we view this as a step towards seamless interoperability. Finally, the C-form facilitates operations on workflows such as merging, splitting, inserting, deleting, and substituting.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: workflow modeling, canonical form, schema and instance, query and manipulation, workflow interoperability, workflow patterns
JEL Classification: M1Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 1, 2010
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