Diagram Notations for Mobile Work Processes

  • Sundar Gopalakrishnan
  • Guttorm Sindre
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 92)


In mobile and multi-channel information system, the geographical location and context of the user when performing some task may be important for the design of IT applications. Yet, mainstream process models seldom capture the "where" aspect, such as the location for performing some activity. In previous papers we have performed an initial analytical evaluation and two controlled experiments comparing some notation alternatives. For all these notation alternatives the underlying assumption has been that they should be achieved as fairly small adaptations of existing process notations, using UML Activity Diagrams as an example. In this paper we provide a more comprehensive analysis of the problems, using 9 principles for visual notations proposed by Moody, and considering clean-sheet design of a process notation in addition to minor adaptations of existing ones. The paper demonstrates how this would result in quite different notations, each with their pros and cons.


Mobile multi-channel information system process model diagram notation visual communication 


  1. 1.
    Wohed, P., et al.: On the Suitability of BPMN for Business Process Modelling. In: Dustdar, S., Fiadeiro, J., Sheth, A. (eds.) BPM 2006. LNCS, vol. 4102, pp. 161–176. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dumas, M., ter Hofstede, A.: UML Activity Diagrams as a Workflow Specification Language. In: Gogolla, M., Kobryn, C. (eds.) UML 2001. LNCS, vol. 2185, pp. 76–90. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Korherr, B., List, B.: Extending the UML 2 Activity Diagram with Business Process Goals and Performance Measures and the Mapping to BPEL. In: Roddick, J., Benjamins, V.R., Si-said Cherfi, S., Chiang, R., Claramunt, C., Elmasri, R.A., Grandi, F., Han, H., Hepp, M., Lytras, M.D., Mišić, V.B., Poels, G., Song, I.-Y., Trujillo, J., Vangenot, C. (eds.) ER Workshops 2006. LNCS, vol. 4231, pp. 7–18. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Walderhaug, S., Stav, E., Mikalsen, M.: Experiences from Model-Driven Development of Homecare Services: UML Profiles and Domain Models. In: Chaudron, M.R.V. (ed.) MODELS 2008. LNCS, vol. 5421, pp. 199–212. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gopalakrishnan, S., Sindre, G.: Alternative Process Notations for Mobile Information Systems. In: Popplewell, K., et al. (eds.) Enterprise Interoperability IV. Making the Internet of the Future for the Future of Enterprise, pp. 13–23. Springer, London (2010)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gopalakrishnan, S., Krogstie, J., Sindre, G.: Adapting UML Activity Diagrams for Mobile Work Process Modelling: Experimental Comparison of Two Notation Alternatives. In: van Bommel, P., Hoppenbrouwers, S., Overbeek, S., Proper, E., Barjis, J. (eds.) PoEM 2010. LNBIP, vol. 68, pp. 145–161. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gopalakrishnan, S., Krogstie, J., Sindre, G.: Adapted UML Activity Diagrams for Mobile Work Processes: Experimental comparison of colour and pattern fills. In: Halpin, T., Nurcan, S., Krogstie, J., Soffer, P., Proper, E., Schmidt, R., Bider, I. (eds.) BPMDS 2011 and EMMSAD 2011. LNBIP, vol. 81, pp. 314–331. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dourish, P.: Re-space-ing place: "place" and "space" ten years on. In: Proceedings of the 2006 20th Anniversary Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp. 299–308. ACM, Banff (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Harrison, S., Dourish, P.: Re-place-ing space: the roles of place and space in collaborative systems. In: Proceedings of the 1996 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, pp. 67–76. ACM, Boston (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Nossum, A., Krogstie, J.: Integrated Quality of Models and Quality of Maps. In: Halpin, T., Krogstie, J., Nurcan, S., Proper, E., Schmidt, R., Soffer, P., Ukor, R. (eds.) Enterprise, Business-Process and Information Systems Modeling. LNBIP, vol. 29, pp. 264–276. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Krogstie, J.: Using a Semiotic Framework to Evaluate UML for the Development of Models of High Quality. In: Siau, K., Halpin, T. (eds.) Unified Modeling Language: Systems Analysis, Design, and Development Issues, pp. 89–106. IDEA Group Publishing, USA (2001)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Moody, D.L.: The "Physics" of Notations: Toward a Scientific Basis for Constructing Visual Notations in Software Engineering. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 35, 756–779 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Moody, D.L., van Hillegersberg, J.: Evaluating the Visual Syntax of UML: An Analysis of the Cognitive Effectiveness of the UML Family of Diagrams. In: Gašević, D., Lämmel, R., Van Wyk, E. (eds.) SLE 2008. LNCS, vol. 5452, pp. 16–34. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Moody, D.L.: Improving the Effectiveness of Visual Representations in Requirements Engineering: An Evaluation of i* Visual Syntax. In: Patrick, H., Raimundas, M. (eds.) IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering, pp. 171–180. IEEE, Atlanta (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mendling, J., Recker, J., Reijers, H.A.: On the Usage of Labels and Icons in Business Process Models. International Journal of Information System Modeling and Design 1(2), 40–58 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Baumeister, H., et al.: Extending Activity Diagrams to Model Mobile Systems. In: Aksit, M., Mezini, M., Unland, R. (eds.) NODe 2002. LNCS, vol. 2591, pp. 278–293. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Decker, M.: Modelling Location-Aware Access Control Constraints for Mobile Workflows with UML Activity Diagrams. In: 3rd International Conference on Mobile Ubiquitous Computing, Systems, Services and Technologies, Sliema, Malta (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Decker, M., et al.: Modeling Mobile Workflows with BPMN. In: 2010 Ninth International Conference on Mobile Business and 2010 Ninth Global Mobility Roundtable, ICMB-GMR (2010)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Veijalainen, J.: Developing Mobile Ontologies; who, why, where, and how? In: International Conference on Mobile Data Management, pp. 398–401. IEEE, Manheim (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Larsson, A.V.: Designing for use in a future Context – Five Case Studies in Retrospect. In: Institute of Technology. Linkoping University, Linkoping (2003)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Bertin, J.: Semiology of Graphics: Diagrams, Networks, Maps. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison (1983)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Nossum, A.: Visual Representation of Integrated Information. Dept. of Computer and Information Science. Norwegian Technical University of Science and Technology Trondheim, Norway (2009)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Gopalakrishnan, S., Sindre, G.: Analytical Evaluation of Notational Adaptations to Capture Location of Activities in Process Models, Technical report M3W-1, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU): Trondheim. (2011),

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sundar Gopalakrishnan
    • 1
  • Guttorm Sindre
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer and Information ScienceNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway

Personalised recommendations