The ADEPT project: a decade of research and development for robust and flexible process support

Challenges and Achievements
  • Peter Dadam
  • Manfred Reichert
Special Issue Paper


This paper gives insights into the ADEPT project. Its target was to develop a next generation process management technology, which is by orders of magnitudes more powerful and flexible than contemporary process management systems. The ADEPT technology should provide advanced features and properties within one system, which seem to exclude each other, but which are required for the support of a broad spectrum of processes: ease-of-use for end users and system developers, high flexibility through the support of non-trivial ad-hoc deviations at the process instance level, quick implementation of process changes through process schema evolution, and correctness guarantees enabling robust execution of implemented processes. This paper describes the background and the real-world cases which motivated our research. It further explains the technological challenges we faced, describes the solutions we elaborated, and discusses the current status of the ADEPT project.


Workflow Management  Business Process Management  Process Flexibility  Process Change  Correctness by Construction  Robustness 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Agostini A, De Michelis G (1998) Simple workflow models. In: Proc. of the Workshop on Workflow-Management, Lissabon, pp 146–163Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Atkinson C, Stoll D, Acker H, Dadam P, Lauer M, Reichert M (2006) Separating per-client and pan-client views in service specification. In: Proc. IW-SOSE’06, pp 47–52Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Atkinson C, Brenner D, Falcone G, Juhasz M (2008) Specifying high-assurance services. IEEE Comput 8:64–70Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bassil S, Benyoucef M, Keller R, Kropf P (2002) Addressing dynamism in e-negotiations by workflow management systems. In: Proc. DEXA’02Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bassil S, Keller R, Kropf P (2004) A workflow-oriented system architecture for the management of container transportation. In: Proc. BPM’04, pp 116–131Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bauer T, Dadam P (2000) Efficient distributed workflow management based on variable server assignments. In: Proc. CAiSE’00, Stockholm, pp 94–109Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bauer T, Reichert M, Dadam P (2003) Intra-subnet load balancing in distributed workflow management systems. Int J Coop Inform Syst 12(3):295–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Blaser R (1996) Configuration of distributed applications based on prefabricated program building blocks. Master’s thesis, University of Ulm, DBIS Instiute (in German)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bobrik R, Reichert M, Bauer T (2007) View-based process visualization. In: Proc. BPM’07, LNCS 4714, pp 88–95Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Casati F, Ceri S, Pernici B, Pozzi G (1998) Workflow evolution. Data Knowl Eng 24(3):211–238zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dadam P (1997) Business information systems: Trends and technological challenges. In: Proc. BIS’97, pp 509–524Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dadam P, Reichert M (1998) The ADEPT WfMS project at the University of Ulm. In: Proc. 1st European Workshop on Workflow and Process Management (WPM’98), ZurichGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Dadam P, Reichert M (2000) Towards a new dimension in clinical information processing. In: Proc. Medical Informatics Europe Conference (MIE’00), pp 295–301Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Dadam P, Kuhn K, Reichert M, Beuter T, Nathe M (1995) ADEPT: An integrated ap-proach for the development of flexible, reliable, cooperating asssistant systems for the clinical domain. In: Proc. Annual Meeting of the German Informatics Society (Informatik’95), pp 677–686Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Dadam P, Reichert M, Kuhn K (2000) Clinical workflows – the killer application for process-oriented information systems? In: Proc. BIS’00, Poznan, pp 36–59Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Dadam P, Reichert M, Rinderle S, Jurisch M, Acker H, Göser K, Kreher U, Lauer M (2008) Towards truly flexible and adaptive process-aware information systems. In: Proc. UNISCON’08, LNBIP 5, pp 72–83Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ellis C, Maltzahn C (1997) The Chautauqua workflow system. In: Proc. Int’l Conf. on System Science, Maui, HawaiiGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Golani M, Gal A (2006) Optimizing exception handling in workflows using process restructuring. In: Proc. BPM’06, LNCS 4102, pp 407–413Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Greiner U, Müller R, Rahm E, Ramsch J, Heller B, Löffler M (2000) AdaptFlow: Protocol-based medical treatment using adaptive workflows. Methods of Information in Medicine, pp 80–88Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Grimm M (1997) Adept-time: Temporal aspects in flexible workflow management systems. Master’s thesis, University of Ulm, DBIS Instiute (in German)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Günther C, Rinderle-Ma S, Reichert M, van der Aalst W, Recker J (2008) Using process mining to learn from process changes in evolutionary systems. Int J Bus Proc Integr Manage, Spec Issue Bus Proc Flex 3(1):61–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Heinlein C (2001) Workflow and process synchronization with interaction expressions and graphs. In: Proc. ICDE’01, pp 243–252Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Heinlein C (2002) Synchronization of concurrent workflows using interaction expressions and coordination protocols. In: Proc. Confederated Int’l Conf. CoopIS’02, DOA’02, and ODBASE’02, LNCS 2519, pp 54–71Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Heinlein C, Kuhn K, Dadam P (1994) Representation of medical guidelines using an clas-sification-based system. In: Proc. CIKM ’94, pp 415–422Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hensinger C, Reichert M, Bauer T, Strzeletz T, Dadam P (2000) Adeptworkflow – advanced workflow technology for the efficient support of adaptive, enterprise-wide processes. In: Proc. EDBT’00 Software Demonstration Track, Constance, Germany, pp 29–30Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    IBM (1996) Workflow and Image Library: FlowMark and VisualInfo with Windows. SG24-4712-00Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kuhn K, Reichert M, Nathe M, Beuter T, Dadam P (1994a) An infrastructure for cooperation and communication in an advanced clinical information system. In: Proc. 18th Ann. Sym. on Computer Applications in Medical Care 1994, (SCAMC ’94), pp 519–523Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kuhn K, Reichert M, Nathe M, Beuter T, Heinlein C, Dadam P (1994b) A conceptual approach to an open hospital information system. In: Proc. 12th Int’l Congress on Medical Informatics (MIE’94), pp 374–378Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lenz R, Reichert M (2007) IT support for healthcare processes – premises, challenges, perspectives. Data Knowl Eng 61(1):39–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Li C, Reichert M, Wombacher A (2008) Discovering reference process models by mining process variants. In: Proc. ICWS’08, Beijing, pp 45–53Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ly T, Rinderle S, Dadam P, Reichert M (2005) Mining staff assignment rules from event-based data. In: Proc. BPM’05 workshops, LNCS 3812, pp 177–190Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Müller D, Herbst J, Hammori M, Reichert M (2006) IT support for release management processes in the automotive industry. In: Proc. BPM’06, LNCS 4102, pp 368–377Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Müller D, Reichert M, Herbst J (2008) A new paradigm for the enactment and dynamic adaptation of data-driven process structures. In: Proc. CAiSE’08, LNCS 5074, pp 48–63Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Müller R, Greiner U, Rahm E (2004) AgentWork: A workflow system supporting rule–based workflow adaptation. Data Knowl Eng 51(2):223–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Mutschler B, Reichert M, Bumiller J (2008) Unleashing the effectiveness of process-oriented information systems: Problem analysis, critical success factors and implications. IEEE Trans Syst Man Cyb (Part C) 38(3):280–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Reichert M (2000) Dynamische Ablaufänderungen in Workflow-Management-Systemen. PhD thesis, Universität UlmGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Reichert M, Bauer T (2007) Supporting ad-hoc changes in distributed workflow management systems. In: Proc. CoopIS’07, LNCS 4803, pp 150–168Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Reichert M, Dadam P (1998) ADEPTflex – supporting dynamic changes of workflows without losing control. J Intell Inform Sys 10(2):93–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Reichert M, Dadam P (2000) Geschäfts-prozessmodellierung und Workflow-Management: Konzepte, Systeme und deren Anwendung. Ind Manage 16(3):23–27 (in German)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Reichert M, Bauer T, Dadam P (1999) Enterprise-wide and cross-enterprise workflow management: Challenges and research issues for adaptive workflows. In: Proc. Workshop Informatik ’99, CEUR 24, pp 56–64Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Reichert M, Dadam P, Bauer T (2003a) Dealing with forward and backward jumps in workflow management systems. Softw Syst Model 2(1):37–58Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Reichert M, Rinderle S, Dadam P (2003b) ADEPT workflow management system: Flexible support for enterprise-wide business processes. In: Proc. BPM’03, LNCS 2678, pp 370–379Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Reichert M, Rinderle S, Dadam P (2003c) On the common support of workflow type and instance changes under correctness constraints. In: Proc. CoopIS’03, LNCS 2888, pp 407–425Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Reichert M, Rinderle S, Kreher U, Dadam P (2005) Adaptive process management with ADEPT2. In: Proceedings ICDE’05, pp 1113–1114Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Reichert M, Dadam P, Jurisch M, Kreher U, Göser K, Lauer M (2008) Architectural design of flexible process management technology. In: Proc. PRIMIUM Subconference at MKWI’08, CEUR 328, pp 415–422Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Rinderle S (2004) Schema evolution in process management systems. PhD thesis, University of UlmGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Rinderle S, Reichert M, Dadam P (2003) Evaluation of correctness criteria for dynamic workflow changes. In: Proc. BPM’03, LNCS 2678, pp 41–57Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Rinderle S, Reichert M, Dadam P (2004a) Disjoint and overlapping process changes: Challenges, solutions, applications. In: Proc. CoopIS’04, LNCS 3290, pp 101–120Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Rinderle S, Reichert M, Dadam P (2004b) Flexible support of team processes by adaptive workflow systems. Distrib Parall Database 16(1):91–116Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Rinderle S, Reichert M, Dadam P (2004c) On dealing with structural conflicts between process type and instance changes. In: Proc. BPM’04, LNCS 3080, pp 274–289Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Rinderle S, Weber B, Reichert M, Wild W (2005) Integrating process learning and process evolution – a semantics based approach. In: Proc. BPM’05, LNCS 3649, pp 252–267Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Rinderle S, Reichert M, Jurisch M, Kreher U (2006) On representing, purging, and utilizing change logs in process management systems. In: Proc. BPM’06, LNCS 4102, pp 241–256Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Rinderle S, Jurisch M, Reichert M (2007) On deriving net change information from change logs – the DELTALAYER-algorithm. In: Proc. BTW’07, LNI P-103, pp 364–381Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Rinderle-Ma S, Reichert M (2007) A formal framework for adaptive access control models. J Data Semant IX:82–112, LNCS 4601Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Rinderle-Ma S, Reichert M (2008) Managing the life cycle of access rules in CEOSIS. In: Proc. EDOC’08, Munich, pp 257–266Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Rinderle-Ma S, Reichert M, Weber B (2008) Relaxed compliance notions in adaptive process management systems. In: Proc. ER’08, LNCS 5231, pp 232–247Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Rüppel U, Wagenknecht A (2007) Improving emergency management by formal dynamic process-modelling. In: Proc. 24th Conf. on Information Technology in Construction (W78), pp 559–564Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Rüppel U, Wagenknecht A (2008) Towards a process-driven emergency management system for municipalities. In: Proc. 12th Int’l Conf. on Computing in Civil and Building EngineeringGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    van der Aalst W, ter Hofstede A, Kiepuszewski B, Barros A (2003) Workflow patterns. Distrib Parall Database 14(1):5–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Weber B, Reichert M, Wild W, Rinderle S (2005a) Balancing flexibility and security in adaptive process management systems. In: CoopIS’05, LNCS 3760, pp 59–76Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Weber B, Rinderle S, Wild W, Reichert M (2005b) CCBR–driven business process evolution. In: Proc. ICCBR’05, Chicago, pp 610–624Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Weber B, Reichert M, Wild W (2006a) Case-base maintenance for CCBR-based process evolution. In: Proceedings ECCBR’06, LNCS 4106, pp 106–120Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Weber B, Wild W, Lauer M, Reichert M (2006b) Improving exception handling by discovering change dependencies in adaptive process management systems. In: Business Process Management Workshops 2006, pp 93–104Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Weber B, Reichert M, Rinderle-Ma S (2008) Change patterns and change support features – enhancing flexibility in process-aware information systems. Data Knowl Eng 66(3):438–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Weber B, Reichert M, Wild W, Rinderle-Ma S (2009) Providing integrated life cycle support in process-aware information systems. Int J Coop Inform Syst 18(1)Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    Weske M (2001) Formal foundation and conceptual design of dynamic adaptations in a workflow management system. In: Proc. HICSS-34Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Databases and Information SystemsUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

Personalised recommendations