Modelling Constructs

Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter – Annual report year: 2009

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There are many different notations and formalisms for modelling business processes and workflows. These notations and formalisms have been introduced with different purposes and objectives. Later, influenced by other notations, comparisons with other tools, or by standardization efforts, these notations have been extended in order to increase expressiveness and to be more competitive. This resulted in an increasing number of notations and formalisms for modelling business processes and in an increase of the different modelling constructs provided by modelling notations, which makes it difficult to compare modelling notations and to make transformations between them. One of the reasons is that, in each notation, the new concepts are introduced in a different way by extending the already existing constructs. In this chapter, we go the opposite direction: We show that it is possible to add most of the typical extensions on top of any existing notation or formalism—without changing the formalism itself. Basically, we introduce blocks with some additional attributes defining their initiation and termination behaviour. This serves two purposes: First, it gives a clearer understanding of the basic constructs and how they can be combined with more advanced constructs. Second, it will help combining different modelling notations with each other. Note that, though we introduce a notation for blocks in this chapter, we are not so much interested in promoting this notation here. The notation should just prove that it is possible to separate different issues of a modelling notation, and this way making its concepts clearer and the interchange of models easier. A fully-fledged block notation with a clear and simple interface to existing formalisms is yet to be developed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Business Process Modeling
EditorsJorge Cardoso, Wil van der Aalst
Number of pages634
PublisherIdea Group Publishing
Publication date2009
Pages122-141
ISBN (print)978-1605662886
StatePublished
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