In: 01: Computing Science Reports 98. Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, 1998.
Also in: Information and Software Technology, Vol. 41, No. 10, pages 639-650. 1999.
Abstract: For many companies, business processes have become the focal point of attention. As a result, many tools have been developed for business process engineering and the actual deployment of business processes. Typical examples of these tools are Business Process Reengineering (BPR) tools, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, and Workflow Management (WFM) systems. Some of the leading products, e.g. SAP R/3 (ERP/WFM) and ARIS (BPR), use Event-driven Process Chains (EPCs) to model business processes. Although the EPCs have become a widespread process modeling technique, they suffer from a serious drawback: neither the syntax nor the semantics of an EPC are well defined. In this paper, this problem is tackled by mapping EPCs (without connectors of type v) onto Petri nets. The Petri nets have formal semantics and provide an abundance of analysis techniques. As a result, the approach presented in this paper gives formal semantics to EPCs. Moreover, many analysis techniques are available for EPCs. To illustrate the approach, it is shown that the correctness of an EPC can be checked in polynomial time by using Petri-net-based analysis techniques.
Keywords: Petri nets, event-driven process chains, verification, workflow management.
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