Querying Structural and Behavioral Properties of Business Processes

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Abstract

BPQL is a novel query language for querying business process specifications, introduced recently in [5,6]. It is based on an intuitive model of business processes as rewriting systems, an abstraction of the emerging BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) standard [7]. BPQL allows users to query business processes visually, in a manner very analogous to the language used to specify the processes. The goal of the present paper is to study the formal model underlying BPQL and investigate its properties as well as the complexity of query evaluation. We also study its relationship to previously suggested formalisms for process modeling and querying. In particular we propose a query evaluation algorithm of polynomial data complexity that can be applied uniformly to queries on the structure of the process specification as well as on the potential behavior of the defined process. We show that unless P=NP the efficiency of our algorithm is asymptotically optimal.