Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 297–317

Exterminating the Dynamic Change Bug: A Concrete Approach to Support Workflow Change

  • W.M.P. van der Aalst

DOI: 10.1023/A:1011409408711

Cite this article as:
van der Aalst, W. Information Systems Frontiers (2001) 3: 297. doi:10.1023/A:1011409408711


Adaptability has become one of the major research topics in the area of workflow management. Today's workflow management systems have problems dealing with both ad-hoc changes and evolutionary changes. As a result, the workflow management system is not used to support dynamically changing workflow processes or the workflow process is supported in a rigid manner, i.e., changes are not allowed or handled outside of the workflow management system. In this paper, we focus on a notorious problem caused by workflow change: the “dynamic change bug” (Ellis et al.; Proceedings of the Conference on Organizational Computing Systems, Milpitas, California, ACM SIGOIS, ACM Press, New York, 1995, pp. 10–21). The dynamic change bug refers to errors introduced by migrating a case (i.e., a process instance) from the old process definition to the new one. A transfer from the old process to the new process can lead to duplication of work, skipping of tasks, deadlocks, and livelocks. This paper describes an approach for calculating a safe change region. If a case is in such a change region, the transfer is postponed.

workflow managementworkflow changedynamic changepetri nets

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • W.M.P. van der Aalst
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Information and TechnologyEindhoven University of Technology, Faculty of Technology and ManagementEindhovenThe Netherlands