Integrated Process Lifecycle Support

The need for more flexiblity of process-aware information systems (PAISs) has been discussed for several years and different approaches for adaptive process management have emerged. However, only few of them provide support for both changes of individual process instances and the propagation of process type changes to a collection of related process instances. Furthermore, knowledge about process changes has not yet been exploited by any of these systems. The ProCycle approach overcomes this practical limitation by capturing the whole process life cycle and all kinds of changes in an integrated way. Users are not only allowed to deviate from the predefined process in exceptional situations, but are also assisted in retrieving and reusing knowledge about previously performed changes in this context. If similar instance deviations occur frequently, process engineers will be supported in deriving improved process models from them. This, in turn, allows engineers to evolve the PAIS (including the knowledge about the changes) over time. Feasability of the ProCycle approach is demonstrated by a proof-of-concept prototype which combines adaptive process management technology with concepts and methods provided by case-based reasoning (CBR) technology.

Overview of the Approach

The ProCycle approach allows for the modeling (see Item 1), the execution (see Items 2 & 3), and the monitoring (see Item 4) of business processes in a flexible way, while enabling process changes at both the instance and the type level. In particular, ProCycle facilitates instance changes during run-time by supporting the retention and reuse of process deviations (see Item 6 + 8). Furthermore, it allows for the automated derivation of process type changes to evolve business processes over time and to reduce cost of change (see Item 5). Regarding process type changes ProCycle not only supports the co-existence of process instances of di fferent schema versions, but also enables the migration of ongoing process instances to a new schema version as well (see Item 9). In addition to process schema evolution, ProCycle provides system support for evolving knowledge about changes over time (see Item 9 + 10). ProCycle is the first to seamlessly support the entire process life cycle.

Publications

  • B. Weber, M. Reichert, W. Wild and S. Rinderle-Ma: Providing Integrated Life Cycle Support in Process-Aware Information Systems. International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems 18(1):115–165, 2009 
  • B. Weber, W. Wild, M. Lauer and M. Reichert: Improving Exception Handling by Discovering Change Dependencies in Adaptive Process Management Systems. In: Business Process Management Workshops, Vienna, pp. 93–104, 2006. 
  • B. Weber, M. Reichert and W. Wild: Case-Base Maintenance for CCBR-Based Process Evolution. In: Proc. 8th European Conference on Advances in Case-Based Reasoning (ECCBR’06), Fethiye, Turkey, pp. 106–120, 2006. 
  • S. Rinderle, B. Weber, M. Reichert and W. Wild: Integrating Process Learning and Process Evolution – A Semantics Based Approach. In: Proceedings 3rd International Conference on Business Process Management (BPM’06), Nancy, France, pp. 252–267, 2005. 
  • B. Weber, M. Reichert, S. Rinderle and W. Wild: Towards a Framework for the Agile Mining of Business Processes. In: Proceedings Business Process Management Workshops, BPM 2005 International Workshops, BPI, BPD, ENEI, BPRM, WSCOBPM, BPS (Revised Selected Papers), Nancy, France, pp. 191–202, 2006. 
  • B. Weber and W. Wild: Conversational Case-Based Reasoning Support for Business Process Management. In: Mixed-Initiative Problem-Solving Assistant, held in conjunction with AAAI Fall Symposium (accepted), 2005. 
  • B. Weber and W. Wild: Towards the Agile Management of Business Processes. In: WM’05, pp. 409–419, 2005. 
  • B. Weber, S. Rinderle, W. Wild and M. Reichert: CCBR-Driven Business Process Evolution. In: Proceedings 6th International Conference on Case-Based Reasoning (ICCBR’05), Chicago, IL, USA, pp. 610–624, 2005. 
  • B. Weber, M. Reichert, W. Wild and S. Rinderle: Balancing Flexibility and Security in Adaptive Process Management Systems. In: Proceedings of the OTM Confederated International Conferences, CoopIS, DOA, and ODBASE 2005, Agia Napa, Cyprus, pp. 59–76, 2005. 
  • B. Weber, W. Wild and R. Breu: CBRFlow: Enabling Adaptive Workflow Management Through Conversational Case-Based Reasoning. In: ECCBR’04, pp. 434–448, 2004. 
  • B. Weber and W. Wild: An Agile Approach to Workflow Management. In: Modellierung’04, pp. 187–201, 2004. 
  • B. Weber and W. Wild: Application of Lean and Agile Principles to Workflow Management. Poster session presented at: 5th Int’l Conf. on Extreme Programming and Agile Processes in Software Engineering, 2004.