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Blockchain-Based Traceability of Inter-organisational Business Processes

  • Claudio Di Ciccio
  • Alessio Cecconi
  • Jan Mendling
  • Dominik Felix
  • Dominik Haas
  • Daniel Lilek
  • Florian Riel
  • Andreas Rumpl
  • Philipp Uhlig
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 319)

Abstract

Blockchain technology opens up new opportunities for Business Process Management. This is mainly due to its unprecedented capability to let transactions be automatically executed and recorded by Smart Contracts in multi-peer environments, in a decentralised fashion and without central authoritative players to govern the workflow. In this way, blockchains also provide traceability. Traceability of information plays a pivotal role particularly in those supply chains where multiple parties are involved and rigorous criteria must be fulfilled to lead to a successful outcome. In this paper, we investigate how to run a business process in the context of a supply chain on a blockchain infrastructure so as to provide full traceability of its run-time enactment. Our approach retrieves information to trace process instances execution solely from the transactions written on-chain. To do so, hash-codes are reverse-engineered based on the Solidity Smart Contract encoding of the generating process. We show the results of our investigation by means of an implemented software prototype, with a case study on the reportedly challenging context of the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Keywords

Blockchain Ethereum Smart Contracts Supply chain Business Process Management 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The work of Claudio Di Ciccio was partially funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) under grant 862950 (Business Process Optimization Toolkit). The work of Alessio Cecconi was funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) under grant 861213 (CitySPIN).

The authors want to thank Orlenys López-Pintado, Luciano García Bañuelos, and Marlon Dumas, for the valuable advice and precious technical help provided with Caterpillar.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vienna University of Economics and BusinessViennaAustria

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