Distributed Event-Based Process Execution - Assessing Feasibility and Flexibility

  • Pieter Hens
  • Monique Snoeck
  • Manu De Backer
  • Geert Poels
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 81)


Processes modeling and execution (with a process engine) are getting more and more incorporated in todays business environments. This movement puts a lot of stress on classical process engines which have to coordinate many process instances simultaneously. Performance degrades quickly as the number of process instances increases, and a single point of failure is introduced by using a central process execution engine. In this paper, we address these challenges by providing a non-intrusive approach to distribute a process flow and have the flow executed by multiple, smaller process engines. We pay special attention to flexibility of the eventual distributed execution, since process change is costly in a distributed environment. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach by providing an implementation of the transformation and execution architecture, and demonstrate the lower cost of process change that is achieved when using a flexible process runtime architecture.


Global Process Process Engine Process Execution Process Instance Split Process 
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.
    Dumas, M., Van Der Aalst, W., Ter Hofstede, A.: Process-aware information systems. Wiley Interscience, Hoboken (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Coalition, W.M.: The workflow reference model. WfMC Documents (1995)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schuler, C., Weber, R., Schuldt, H., Schek, H.J.: Scalable peer-to-peer process management-the osiris approach. In: IEEE Int. Conf. on Web Services (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Chafle, G., Chandra, S., Mann, V., Nanda, M.: Decentralized orchestration of composite web services. In: Proceedings of the 13th International World Wide Web Conference on Alternate Track Papers & Posters, pp. 134–143 (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Muth, P., Wodtke, D., Weissenfels, J., Dittrich, A., Weikum, G.: From centralized workflow specification to distributed workflow execution. Journal of Intelligent Information Systems 10(2), 159–184 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    van der Aalst, W., Basten, T., Verbeek, H., Verkoulen, P., Voorhoeve, M.: Adaptive workflow: on the interplay between flexibility and support. In: Enterprise Information Systems, pp. 63–70. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Recker, J.: Opportunities and constraints: the current struggle with BPMN. Business Process Management Journal 16(1), 181–201 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Object Management Group: Bpmn 2.0, beta 2 (June 2010),
  9. 9.
    Monsieur, G.: Pattern-based coordination in process-based service compositions, phd thesis. Phd Thesis, KULeuven (2010),
  10. 10.
    Hens, P., Snoeck, M., De Backer, M., Poels, G.: Decentralized Event-Based Orchestration. In: Inter. Work. on Event-Driven Business Process Management. (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mühl, G., Fiege, L., Pietzuch, P.: Distributed Event-Based Systems. Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., Secaucus (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Eugster, P., Felber, P., Guerraoui, R., Kermarrec, A.: The many faces of publish/subscribe. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR) 35(2), 131 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hallerbach, A., Bauer, T., Reichert, M.: Configuration and management of process variants. In: Handbook on Business Process Management, pp. 237–255 (2010)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kong, J., Jung, J.Y., Park, J.: Event-driven service coordination for business process integration in ubiquitous enterprises. Computers & Industrial Engineering 57(1), 14–26 (2009); Collaborative e-Work Networks in Industrial EngineeringCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jouault, F., Allilaire, F., Bézivin, J., Kurtev, I., Valduriez, P.: ATL: a QVT-like transformation language. In: The 21st ACM SIGPLAN Symposium (2006)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
    Carzaniga, A., Rosenblum, D.S., Wolf, A.: Design and evaluation of a wide-area event notification service. ACM Trans. Comput. Syst. 19(3), 332–383 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Niblett, P., Graham, S.: Events and service-oriented architecture: the OASIS web services notification specifications. IBM Systems Journal 44(4), 869–886 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Geppert, A., Tombros, D.: Event-based distributed workflow execution with EVE. In: Proc. of the IFIP Int. Conf. on Distributed Systems Platforms and Open Distributed Processing, pp. 427–442 (1998)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Juric, M.: WSDL and BPEL extensions for Event Driven Architecture. In: Information and Software Technology (2010)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Hens, P., Snoeck, M., De Backer, M., Poels, G.: A Petri Net Formalization of a Publish-Subscribe Process System. In: Submitted for the 5th ACM International Conference on Distributed Event-Based Systems (DEBS) (2011)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Fdhila, W., Yildiz, U., Godart, C.: A flexible approach for automatic process decentralization using dependency tables. In: ICWS 2009: Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Web Services, pp. 847–855. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, USA (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Weber, B., Reichert, M., Rinderle-Ma, S.: Change patterns and change support features-enhancing flexibility in process-aware information systems. Data & Knowledge Engineering 66(3), 438–466 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Nanda, M., Chandra, S., Sarkar, V.: Decentralizing execution of composite web services. ACM SIGPLAN Notices 39(10), 170–187 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Michelson, B.: Event-driven architecture overview. OMG report (2006)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wooldridge, M.: Agent-based software engineering. IEE Proceedings Software Engineering 144(1), 26–37 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Dadam, P., Reichert, M., Rinderle, S., Jurisch, M., Acker, H., Goser, K., Kreher, U., Lauer, M.: Towards truly flexible and adaptive process-aware information systems. In: Information Systems and e-Business Technologies, pp. 72–83 (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pieter Hens
    • 1
  • Monique Snoeck
    • 1
  • Manu De Backer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Geert Poels
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Decision Sciences and Information ManagementK.U.LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Dept. of Management Information and Operations ManagementUniversiteit GentGentBelgium
  3. 3.Dept. of Management Information SystemsUniversiteit AntwerpenAntwerpenBelgium
  4. 4.Dept. of Management and InformaticsHogeschool GentGentBelgium

Personalised recommendations