Information Technology and Management

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 61–87 | Cite as

Towards Adaptive Workflow Enactment Using Multiagent Systems

  • Paul A. Buhler
  • José M. Vidal


Advances in Information Technology have created opportunities for business enterprises to redesign their information and process management systems. The redesigned systems will likely employ some form of workflow management system. Workflow management systems exactly enact business processes described in a process description language. Unfortunately, such strict adherence to the prescribed workflow makes it impossible for the system to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. We firmly believe that the historic trajectory of software development paradigms and IT advancements will establish multiagent systems as the workflow enactment mechanism of the future. In this paper we provide a critical survey of workflow, workflow description languages, web services and agent technologies. We propose that workflow description languages and their associated design tools can be used to specify a multiagent system. Specifically, we advance the idea that the Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) can be used as a specification language for expressing the initial social order of the multiagent system, which can then intelligently adapt to changing environmental conditions.


Web services software composition workflow management systems multiagent systems 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceCollege of CharlestonCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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