A Structured Language for Manipulating Process Models

Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 713-743, 2010

31 Pages Posted: 31 May 2010 Last revised: 25 Jul 2014

Henry H. Bi

Willamette University - Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: May 1, 2010

Abstract

Purpose: Although software systems used to automate business processes have been becoming rather advanced, the existing practice of developing and modifying graphical process models in those software systems is still primitive: Users have to manually add, change, or delete each node and arc piece by piece. Because such manual operations are typically tedious, time-consuming, and prone to errors, it is desirable to develop an alternative approach.

Design/methodology/approach: In this paper, we develop a novel, human-understandable process manipulation language (PML) for specifying operations (e.g., insertion, deletion, merging, and split) on process models. We also develop a prototype system to demonstrate PML.

Findings: Manipulation operations on process models can be standardized and, thus, can be facilitated and automated through using a structured language like PML.

Originality/value: PML can improve manipulation operations on process models over the existing manual approach in two aspects: First, using PML, users only need to specify what operations are to be performed on process models, and then a computer carries out specified operations as well as performs other routine operations (e.g., generating nodes and arcs). This feature minimizes user effort to deal with low-level details on nodes and arcs. Second, using PML, users can systematically specify operations on process models, thus reducing arbitrary operations and problems in process models.

Keywords: manipulation operations, process manipulation language, process models

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

Bi, Henry H., A Structured Language for Manipulating Process Models (May 1, 2010). Business Process Management Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 713-743, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1617935

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

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