Distributed Workflow upon Linkable Coordination Artifacts

  • Andrea Omicini
  • Alessandro Ricci
  • Nicola Zaghini
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4038)


Coordination infrastructures can be used for the general-purpose support of WfMSs (workflow management systems). Suitably-expressive coordination artifacts can be specialised as workflow engines, encapsulating workflow rules expressed in terms of coordination laws.

In this paper, we focus on the issue of inter-organisational workflow (IOW), and show how the issue of multiple, interdependent, distributed workflows requires coordination artifacts to be linkable, so as to create a network of inter-connected coordination flows.

After discussing a model of workflow engine based on ReSpecT tuple centres, we introduce a distributed workflow architecture based on TuCSoN, exploiting a logic-based workflow language. In particular, we focus on the definition of a scoping mechanism, and show how this enable workflows to be dynamically governed and distributed upon a coordination infrastructure based on artifact linkability. An example of a VE (virtual enterprise) workflow is finally discussed.


Business Process Multiagent System Mobile Agent Virtual Enterprise Tuple Space 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Ricci, A., Omicini, A., Denti, E.: Virtual enterprises and workflow management as agent coordination issues. International Journal of Cooperative Information Systems 11(3/4), 355–379 (2002), Special Issue: Cooperative Information Agents – Best Papers of CIA 2001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Divitini, M., Hanachi, C., Sibertin-Blanc, C.: Inter–organizational workflows for enterprise coordination. In: Omicini, A., Zambonelli, F., Klusch, M., Tolksdorf, R. (eds.) Coordination of Internet Agents: Models, Technologies, and Applications, pp. 369–398. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Omicini, A., Ricci, A., Viroli, M., Castelfranchi, C., Tummolini, L.: Coordination artifacts: Environment-based coordination for intelligent agents. In: Jennings, N.R., Sierra, C., Sonenberg, L., Tambe, M. (eds.) 3rd International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2004), vol. 1, pp. 286–293. ACM, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Omicini, A., Ricci, A., Viroli, M.: Agens Faber: Toward a theory of artefacts for MAS. In: Post-proceedings of 1st International Workshop Coordination and Organization (CoOrg 2005), COORDINATION 2005, Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Sciences. Namur, Belgium (April 22, 2005) (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ricci, A., Viroli, M., Omicini, A.: Programming MAS with artifacts. In: Bordini, R.H., Dastani, M., Dix, J., El Fallah Seghrouchni, A. (eds.) PROMAS 2005. LNCS, vol. 3862, pp. 206–221. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    OASIS Consortium: Business Process Execution Language (2005),
  7. 7.
    Workflow Management Coalition Group: XML Process Definition Language (2003),
  8. 8.
    Malone, T., Crowstone, K.: The interdisciplinary study of coordination. ACM Computing Surveys 26(1), 87–119 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Omicini, A., Denti, E.: From tuple spaces to tuple centres. Science of Computer Programming 41(3), 277–294 (2001)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Omicini, A., Denti, E.: Formal ReSpecT. In: Dovier, A., Meo, M.C., Omicini, A. (eds.) Declarative Programming – Selected Papers from AGP 2000. Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, vol. 48, pp. 179–196. Elsevier Science B. V., Amsterdam (2001)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ricci, A., Omicini, A., Viroli, M.: Extending ReSpecT for multiple coordination flows. In: Arabnia, H.R. (ed.) International Conference on Parallel and Distributed Processing Techniques and Applications (PDPTA 2002), vol. III, pp. 1407–1413. CSREA Press, Las Vegas (2002)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gelernter, D.: Generative communication in Linda. ACM Transactions on Programming Languages and Systems 7(1), 80–112 (1985)MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Workflow Management Coalition, Home page (2006),
  14. 14.
    van der Aalst, W.M.P., ter Hofstede, A.H.M., Kiepuszewski, B., Barros, A.P.: Workflow patterns. Distributed and Parallel Databases 14(1), 5–51 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Casati, F., Castano, S., Fugini, M., Mirabel, I., Pernici, B.: Using patterns to design rules in workflows. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 26(8), 760–785 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Arbab, F.: Reo: A channel-based coordination model for component composition. Mathematical Structures in Computer Science 14, 329–366 (2004)MATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Dastani, M.: Coordination and Composition of Multi-Agent Systems. In: 1st International Workshop on Coordination and Organisation (CoOrg 2005), COORDINATION 2005, Namur, Belgium (2005) (Invited talk) Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Viroli, M., Omicini, A.: Coordination as a service. Fundamenta Informaticae 71(4) (2006)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Picco, G.P., Murphy, A.L., Roman, G.C.: Lime: Linda Meets Mobility. In: Garlan, D. (ed.) 21st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 1999), Los Angeles, CA, USA, pp. 368–377. ACM Press, New York (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Grefen, P., Pernici, B., Sanchez, G. (eds.): Database support for Workflow Management – The WIDE Project. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (1999)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Swenson, K.D., Maxwell, R.J., Matsumoto, T., Saghari, B., Irwin, K.: A Business Process Environment Supporting Collaborative Planning. Collaborative Computing 1(1), 15–34 (1994)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Carlsen, S.: Action port model: A mixed paradigm conceptual workflow modeling language. In: Halper, M. (ed.) 3rd IFCIS International Conference on Cooperative Information Systems, pp. 300–309. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos (1998)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Agostini, A., De Michelis, G., Grasso, M.A.: Rethinking CSCW systems: The architecture of MILANO. In: Hughes, J.A., Prinz, W., Rodden, T., Schmidt, K. (eds.) 5th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW 1997), pp. 33–48. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (1997)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kappel, G., Rausch-Scott, S., Retschitzegger, W.: A framework for workflow management systems based on objects, rules and roles. ACM Computing Surveys 32(27) (2000)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Miller, J.A., Palaniswami, D., Sheth, K.J., Singh, H.: Webwork: METEOR2’s web-based workflow management system. Journal of Intelligent Information Systems 10(2), 185–215 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Sheth, A.P., Kochut, K.J.: Workflow applications to research agenda: Scalable and dynamic work co-ordination and collaborative systems. In: Dogaç, A., Kalinichenko, L., Tamer Özsu, M., Sheth, A.P. (eds.) Advances in Workflow Management Systems and Interoperability, Istanbul, Turkey (1997)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Fischer, K., Muller, J., Heimig, I., Scheer, A.W.: Intelligent agents in virtual enterprises. In: Practical Application of Intelligent Agents and Multi-Agent Technology (PAAM 1996) (1996)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Shen, W., Norrie, D.H.: Implementing internet enabled virtual enterprises using collaborative agents. In: Infrastructures for Virtual Enterprises, pp. 343–352. Kluwer Academic Publisher, Dordrecht (1999)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Aerts, A., Szirbik, N., Hammer, D., Goossenaerts, J., Wortmann, H.: On the design of a mobile agent web for supporting virtual enterprises. In: IEEE 9th International Workshops on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises Web-based Infrastructures and Coordination Architectures for Collaborative Enterprises (WET ICE 2000), Gaithersburg (MD), pp. 236–241. IEEE CS, Los Alamitos (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Chrysanthis, P.K., Znati, T., Banerjee, S., Chang, S.K.: Establishing virtual enterprises by means of mobile agents. In: Workshop on Research Issues in Data Engineering (RIDE 1999), pp. 116–125. IEEE CS, Los Alamitos (1999)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Merz, M., Liberman, B., Lamersdorf, W.: Using mobile agents to support interorganizational workflow-management. Applied Artificial Intelligence 6(11), 551–572 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Tolksdorf, R.: Models of coordination. In: Omicini, A., Tolksdorf, R., Zambonelli, F. (eds.) ESAW 2000. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 1972, pp. 78–92. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tolksdorf, R.: Coordinating work on the Web with Workspaces. In: IEEE 9th International Workshops on Enabling Technologies: Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises Web-based Infrastructures and Coordination Architectures for Collaborative Enterprises (WET ICE 2000), Gaithersburg, MD, pp. 248–253. IEEE CS, Los Alamitos (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Omicini
    • 1
  • Alessandro Ricci
    • 1
  • Nicola Zaghini
    • 1
  1. 1.DEISALMA MATER STUDIORUM—Università di BolognaCesenaItaly

Personalised recommendations