Software & Systems Modeling

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 517–535 | Cite as

Detection and resolution of conflicting change operations in version management of process models

  • Christian Gerth
  • Jochen M. Küster
  • Markus Luckey
  • Gregor Engels
Special Section Paper


Version management of process models requires that different versions of process models are integrated by applying change operations. Conflict detection between individually applied change operations and conflict resolution support are integral parts of version management. For conflict detection it is utterly important to compute a precise set of conflicts, since the minimization of the number of detected conflicts also reduces the overhead for merging different process model versions. As not every syntactic conflict leads to a conflict when taking into account model semantics, a computation of conflicts solely on the syntax leads to an unnecessary high number of conflicts. Moreover, even the set of precisely computed conflicts can be extensive and their resolution means a significant workload for a user. As a consequence, adequate support is required that guides a user through the resolution process and suggests possible resolution strategies for individual conflicts. In this paper, we introduce the notion of syntactic and semantic conflicts for change operations of process models. We provide a method how to efficiently compute conflicts precisely, using a term formalization of process models and consider the subsequent resolution of the detected conflicts based on different strategies. Using this approach, we can significantly reduce the number of overall conflicts and reduce the amount of work for the user when resolving conflicts.


Business process model Version management Conflict detection Conflict resolution 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Gerth
    • 1
  • Jochen M. Küster
    • 2
  • Markus Luckey
    • 1
  • Gregor Engels
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of PaderbornPaderbornGermany
  2. 2.IBM Research-ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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