Towards Location-Aware Process Modeling and Execution

  • Xinwei ZhuEmail author
  • Guobin Zhu
  • Seppe K. L. M. vanden Broucke
  • Jan Vanthienen
  • Bart Baesens
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 202)


Business Process Management (BPM) has emerged as one of the abiding systematic management approaches in order to design, execute and govern organizational business processes. Traditionally, most attention within the BPM community has been given to studying control-flow aspects, without taking other contextual aspects into account. This paper contributes to the existing body of work by focusing on the particular context of geospatial information. We argue that explicitly taking this context into consideration in the modeling and execution of business processes can contribute to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. As such, the goal of this paper is to make the modeling and execution aspects of BPM location-aware. We do so by proposing a Petri net modeling extension which is formalized by means of a mapping to coloured Petri nets. Our approach has been implemented using CPN Tools and a simulation extension was developed to support the execution and validation of location-aware process models. We also illustrate the feasibility of coupling business process support systems with geographical information systems by means of an experimental case setup.


Business process management Geographical information systems Location-aware processes Process modeling Process execution Coloured petri nets 



This work is supported by the National Key Technology R&D Program, China (grant 2012BAH01F02), by the KU Leuven research council (grant OT/10/010) and the Flemish Research Council (Odysseus grant B.0915.09).


  1. 1.
    Vom Brocke, J., Rosemann, M.: Handbook on Business Process Management: Strategic Alignment, Governance, People and Culture. Springer, New York (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jensen, K., Kristensen, L.M., Wells, L.: Coloured Petri nets and CPN tools for modelling and validation of concurrent systems. Int. J. Softw. Tools Technol. Transf. 9(3–4), 213–254 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rosemann, M., Recker, J.C., Flender, C.: Contextualisation of business processes. Int. J. Bus. Process. Integr. Manage. 3(1), 47–60 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Decker, M.: Modelling location-aware access control constraints for mobile workflows with UML activity diagrams. In: UBICOMM 2009, pp. 263–268, October 2009Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Georgoulias, K., Papakostas, N., Chryssolouris, G., Stanev, S., Krappe, H., Ovtcharova, J.: Evaluation of flexibility for the effective change management of manufacturing organizations. Robot. Comp.-Integr. Manuf. 25(6), 888–893 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhu, X., Recker, J., Zhu, G., Santoro, F.: Exploring location-dependency in process modeling. Bus. Process. Manage. J. 20(6), 794–815 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Medeiros, C., Vossen, G., Weske, M.: Geo-wasa-combining GIS technology with workflow management. In: Proceedings of the Seventh Israeli Conference on Computer Systems and Software Engineering, pp. 129–139, June 1996Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Alonso, G., Hagen, C.: Geo-opera: workflow concepts for spatial processes. In: Scholl, M.O., Voisard, A. (eds.) SSD 1997. LNCS, vol. 1262, pp. 238–258. Springer, Heidelberg (1997) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Seffino, L.A., Medeiros, C.B., Rocha, J.V., Yi, B.: Woodss—a spatial decision support system based on workflows. DSS 27(1), 105–123 (1999)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ludäscher, B., Altintas, I., Berkley, C., Higgins, D., Jaeger, E., Jones, M., Lee, E.A., Tao, J., Zhao, Y.: Scientific workflow management and the Kepler system. Concurrency Comput. Pract. Exp. 18(10), 1039–1065 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jäger, E., Altintas, I., Zhang, J., Ludäscher, B., Pennington, D., Michener, W.: A scientific workflow approach to distributed geospatial data processing using web services. In: SSDBM 2005, SSDBM, pp. 87–90 (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    de Leoni, M., van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M.: Visual support for work assignment in process-aware information systems. In: Dumas, M., Reichert, M., Shan, M.-C. (eds.) BPM 2008. LNCS, vol. 5240, pp. 67–83. Springer, Heidelberg (2008) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Decker, M., Che, H., Oberweis, A., Sturzel, P., Vogel, M.: Modeling mobile workflows with bpmn. In: 2010 Ninth International Conference on Mobile Business and 2010 Ninth Global Mobility Roundtable (ICMB-GMR), pp. 272–279, June 2010Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Recker, J.C.: “Modeling with tools is easier, believe me”: the effects of tool functionality on modeling grammar usage beliefs. Inf. Syst. 37(3), 213–226 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Recker, J.C., Rosemann, M., Indulska, M., Green, P.: Business process modeling: a comparative analysis. J. Assoc. Inf. Syst. 10(4), 333–363 (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Murata, T.: Petri nets: properties, analysis and applications. Proc. IEEE 77, 541–580 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Peterson, J.L.: Petri Net Theory and the Modeling of Systems. Prentice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey (1981)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P.: The application of Petri nets to workflow management. J. Circuits Syst. Comput. 8(01), 21–66 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    OGC: The opengis abstract specification-topic 8: Relationships between features (1999)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zhu, X., Zhu, G., Guan, P.: Exploring location-aware process management. In: Bian, F., Xie, Y., Cui, X., Zeng, Y. (eds.) GRMSE 2013 Part II. CCIS, vol. 399, pp. 249–256. Springer, Heidelberg (2013) CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xinwei Zhu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guobin Zhu
    • 1
  • Seppe K. L. M. vanden Broucke
    • 2
  • Jan Vanthienen
    • 2
  • Bart Baesens
    • 2
  1. 1.International School of SoftwareWuhan UniversityHongshan, WuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Decision Sciences and Information ManagementKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

Personalised recommendations