Process time patterns: A formal foundation

A. Lanz, M. Reichert and B. Weber

Information Systems 57:38–68, 2016.

Abstract. Companies increasingly adopt process-aware information systems (PAISs) to model, execute, monitor, and evolve their business processes. Though the handling of temporal constraints (e.g., deadlines or time lags between activities) is crucial for the proper support of business processes, existing PAISs vary significantly regarding the support of the temporal perspective. Both the formal specification and the operational support of temporal constraints constitute fundamental challenges in this context. In previous work, we introduced process time patterns, which facilitate the comparison and evaluation of PAISs in respect to their support of the temporal perspective. Furthermore, we provided empirical evidence for these time patterns. To avoid ambiguities and to ease the use as well as the implementation of the time patterns, this paper formally defines their semantics. To additionally foster the use of the patterns for a wide range of process modeling languages and to enable pattern integration with existing PAISs, the proposed semantics are expressed independently of a particular process meta model. Altogether, the presented pattern formalization will be fundamental for introducing the temporal perspective in PAISs.

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Barbara Weber