A Canonical Form for the Definition, Querying, and Manipulation of Workflows

6 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2010 Last revised: 28 Apr 2019

See all articles by Henry H. Bi

Henry H. Bi

Willamette University - Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Akhil Kumar

Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

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.

Keywords: workflow modeling, canonical form, schema and instance, query and manipulation, workflow interoperability, workflow patterns

JEL Classification: M1

Suggested Citation

Bi, Henry H. and Kumar, Akhil, A Canonical Form for the Definition, Querying, and Manipulation of Workflows (2004). Henry H. Bi, Akhil Kumar. 2004. A Canonical Form for the Definition, Querying, and Manipulation of Workflows. Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Information Technologies and Systems (WITS 2004), Washington, D.C., USA, December 11-12, 2004. pp. 26-31. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.3744.496, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1561313

Henry H. Bi (Contact Author)

Willamette University - Atkinson Graduate School of Management ( email )

900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
United States

HOME PAGE: http://willamette.edu/mba/faculty-research/faculty/bi/index.html

Akhil Kumar

Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business ( email )

University Park, PA 16802
United States

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