Modeling Time-Critical Processes with WED-Flow
In this work, we show how time constraints can be specified with WED-flow – an alternative process modeling approach characterized as being transactional, event-based, and data-driven – and address the challenge of mapping processes modeled with WED-flow into colored Petri net structures. First, we show how time constraints can be specified with WED-flow. Although the correctness of so-called time-critical processes depends on the time their activities are performed, WED-flow has not been used for specifying time constraints up to now. As a concrete example, we specify a time constraint of SISAUT: a real-time system built using WED-flow techniques and tools that coordinates interacting parallel processes to collect and process materials from autopsies for research projects while questionnaires and consent forms are being filled out. We then address the challenge of mapping processes modeled with WED-flow into colored Petri net structures. We also show how to describe the temporal behavior of time-critical processes with time Petri nets. Therefore, we become able to reason about the functional (e.g., decide whether a certain state is definitely reached) and temporal (e.g., decide whether a deadline can be met) behaviors of instances of those processes through existing tools and methods of analysis. In SISAUT, for instance, timeliness is critical to success: the processing of collected materials must not take longer than 24 h from the declared time of death of the deceased. Up to now, the timeliness verification of SISAUT cases has been done manually, in an ad hoc manner. Thus, we present a method to automatically calculate the minimum time it takes to process the collected materials of a given SISAUT case through the analysis of an equivalent time colored Petri net.
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