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Modeling and Enactment of Workflow Systems.

Ellis, C.A.; Nutt, G.J.

In: Ajmone Marsan, M.: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 691; Application and Theory of Petri Nets 1993, Proceedings 14th International Conference, Chicago, Illinois, USA, pages 1-16. Springer-Verlag, 1993.

Abstract: Petri net models and variants thereof have primary been used to model structured systems such as computer programs, factory production lines, and engineering hardware. In contrast, this paper discusses the issues and challenges in the modeling of human activity in the workplace. This type of activity frequently has a large component that is unstructured, creative work. It is dynamic and difficult to capture via traditional Petri nets. Our research group at the University of Colorado has been investigating Information Control Nets (ICNs), derived from high level Petri nets, as a tool for modeling office workflow. After carefully explaining the notion of Workflow, this paper presents a formal (and also an informal) definition of ICN. We illustrate the utility of ICNs via an office analysis example. Besides being a tool for workflow analysis, ICNs have been used as the basis for the implementation and use of office work coordination systems.

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