On the Trade-Off Between Flexibility and Extensionality in the Decomposition of Business Process Models

  • Dirk DraheimEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation book series (LNISO, volume 8)


The decomposition of business processes and related artifacts is a necessary concept in conceptual modeling as well as in the definition of executable workflows. Decomposition is supported by almost all business process modeling notations and execution engines. Thereby the design of the interfaces and the semantics of these are an important factor to concern with impact, e.g., on a common understanding of the involved stakeholders. In this paper we analyze the flexibility and expressiveness of business process specifications with respect to hierarchical structure in a modeling language independent manner. The semantics of how instances of process capsules are initially and intermediately triggered via their interfaces turns out to be crucial for the discussion. We aim at clarifying the situation by characterizing and comparing a kind of intensional, so-called open, and a kind of extensional, so-called closed semantics for business process capsules.


Business process management Business process modeling Task modeling Workflow management Enterprise information systems Enterprise resource planning IT governance 


  1. 1.
    Atkinson, C., Draheim, D., & Geist, V. (2010). Typed business process specification: Proceedings of EDOC 2010—The 14th IEEE International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference, IEEE Press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Balabko, P., Wegmann, A., Ruppen, A., & Clement, N. (2005). Capturing design rationale with functional decomposition of roles in business processes modeling. Software Process—Improvement and Practice, 10(4), 379–392.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Böhm, C., & Jacopini, G. (1966). Flow diagrams, turing machines and languages with only two formation rules. Communications of the ACM, 3(5), 366–371.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Auer, D., Geist, V., & Draheim, D. (2009). Extending BPMN with submit/response-style user interaction modeling. In B. Hofreiter & H. Werthner (Eds.), Proceedings of CEC’09—The 11th IEEE Conference on Commerce and Enterprise Computing, IEEE Press.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    DeMarco, T. (1979). Structured analysis and system specification. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Draheim, D. (2010). Business process technology—A unified view on business processes, workflows and enterprise applications. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Draheim, D. (2009). Frontiers of structured business process modeling. In A. Hameurlain, J. Küng & R. Wagner (Eds.), Transactions on large scale data- and knowledge-centered systems I. Springer.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Draheim, D., & Weber, G. (2004). Form-oriented analysis—A new methodology to model form-based applications. Springer. Decomposition of Business Process Models 15.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Eshuis, R., & Wieringa, R. (2001). A formal semantics for UML activity diagrams—Formalising workflow models. Technical Report CTIT-01-04, University of Twente, Department of Computer Science.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    International Organization for Standardization (2008). International Standard ISO/IEC 38500:2008. Corporate governance of information technology. ISO.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Johannsen, F., & Leist, S. (2012). Wand and Weber’s decomposition model in the context of business process modeling. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 4(5), 271–286.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Milani, F., Dumas, M., & Matulevicius, R. (2013). Decomposition driven consolidation of process models: Proceedings of CAiSE’2013The 25th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering, LNCS, Springer.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency. (2000). IT infrastructure library—Service support. Renouf.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Office of Government Commerce (2002). ICT infrastructure management. Bernan.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jalloul, G. (2004). UML by example. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rao Kosaraju, S. (1973). Analysis of structured programs: Proceedings of the 5th Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing, pp. 240–252.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    National Institute of Standards and Technology (1993). Integrated definition for functional modeling (IDEF0). Draft Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 183. U.S. Department of Commerce.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Object Management Group (2006). Business process modeling notation (BPMN) specification. Final Adopted Specification, dtc/06-02-01.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Reichert, M., & Weber, B. (2012). Enabling flexibility in process-aware information systems—Challenges, methods, technologies. Springer.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Romero, H., Dijkman, R., Grefen, P., van Weele, A. (2012). Harmonization of business process models: Proceedings Business Process Management Workshops, LNBIP 99, Springer.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ross, D. T., & Brackett, J. W. (1976). An approach to structured analysis. Computer Decisions, 8(9), 40–44.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Schäfermeyer, M., Rosenkranz, C., & Holten, R. (2012). The impact of business process complexity on business process standardization—An empirical study. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 4(5), 261–270.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Scheer, A. -W. (1999). ARIS—Business process modeling. Heidelberg: Springer.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Scheer, A. -W., Thomas, O., Adam, O. (2005). Process modeling using event-driven process chains. In M. Dumas, W. M. P. van der Aalst & A. H. M. ter Hofstede (Eds.), Process-aware information systems—Bridging people and software through process technology (pp. 119–146). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wand, Y., & Weber, R. (1991). A unified model of software and data decomposition: Proceedings of ICIS’91—The 12th International Conference on Information Systems, University of Minnesota Minneapolis.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Workflow Management Coalition (1999). Workflow management coalition terminology & glossary. Document Number WFMC-TC-1011, WfMC.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MannheimMannheimGermany

Personalised recommendations