Automatic Generation of a Data-Centered View of Business Processes
Most commonly used business process (BP) notations, such as BPMN, focus on defining the control flow of the activities of a BP, i.e., they are activity-centered. In these notations, data play a secondary role, just as inputs or outputs of the activities. However, there is an increasing interest in analysing the life cycle of the data objects that are handled in a BP because it helps understand how data is modified during the execution of the process, detect data anomalies such as checking whether an activity requires a data object in a state that is unreachable, and check data compliance rules such as checking whether only a certain role can change the state of a data object. To carry out such an analysis, it is very appealing to provide a mechanism to transform from the usual activity-centered model of a BP to the set of life cycles of all the data objects involved in the process (i.e., a data-centered model). Unfortunately, although some proposals describe such transformation, they do not deal with data anomalies in the original BP model nor include information about the activities of the BP that are executed in the state transitions of the data object, which limits the analysis capabilities of the life cycle models. In this paper, we describe a model-driven procedure to automatically transform from an activity-centered model to a data-centered model of a BP that solves the aforementioned limitations of other proposals.
Keywordsbusiness process data management object life cycle data anomalies Petri net reachability graph
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