A Process View Framework for Artifact-Centric Business Processes Essay

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A Framework for Behavior-Consistent Specialization of Artifact-Centric Business Processes
Sira Yongchareon1, Chengfei Liu1, and Xiaohui Zhao2
1

Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies
Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria, Australia
{syongchareon,cliu}@swin.edu.au
2
Faculty of Information Sciences and Engineering
University of Canberra, Australia xiaohui.zhao@canberra.edu.au Abstract. Driven by complex and dynamic business process requirements, there has been an increasing demand for business process reuse to improve modeling efficiency. Process specialization is an effective reuse method that can be used to customize and extend base process models to specialized models.
In the recent years, artifact-centric business process modeling has emerged as it supports a more flexible process structure compared with traditional activitycentric process models. Although, process specialization has been studied for the traditional models by treating a process as a single object, the specialization of artifact-centric processes that consist of multiple interacting artifacts has not been studied. Inheriting interactions among artifacts for specialized processes and ensuring the consistency of the processes are challenging. To address these issues, we propose a novel framework for process specialization comprising artifact-centric process models, methods to define a specialized process model based on an existing process model, and the behavior consistency between the specialized model and its base model.

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Introduction

Complex business process requirements from different customer needs, government regulations, outsourcing partners, etc., result in frequent changes and revision to business processes. Therefore, reusability of business processes is highly sought after to improve process modeling efficiency. In this background, organizations strive for a more efficient and systematic approach to flexibly define and extend their business processes. Business process reuse aims to support on-demand customization and extension of existing business processes by establishing a modular and a repository of process components [18]. Business process specialization is deemed as one of main mechanisms that can be used to construct a specific business process by extending a generic reference process model. With specializations, processes can be reported at different levels of generality, and can be compared across the specializations [19].
Current activity-centric modeling approaches focus on the conformation of tasks and the control-flows among tasks according to specific logics. Intuitively,
A. Barros, A. Gal, and E. Kindler (Eds.): BPM 2012, LNCS 7481, pp. 285–301, 2012.
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

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S. Yongchareon, C. Liu, and X. Zhao

constructing processes with sequenced activities leads to highly-cohesive and tightlycoupled process structures; therefore, process componentization and extension are difficult to be achieved in a natural way [17]. In recent years, artifact-centric approaches to business process modeling have emerged and been widely studied [1, 2,
3, 7, 11, 13, 16, 17, 19]. These approaches naturally lend themselves well to both object-orientation and service-orientation design principles, as they focus on the design of both business artifacts involved in a process and services (a.k.a. tasks) performing on such artifacts. Owning to the object-oriented nature, the artifact-centric models support higher level of flexibility, extensibility, and reusability.
The existing approaches for the specialization of business processes treat a process as a single object [8, 9, 10]; hence, traditional object specialization techniques in object-oriented analysis and design can be applied (e.g., from [4]). For artifact-centric processes, specializations should not only apply on each individual artifact but also on their interactions. Some works…