Verification problems in conceptual workflow specifications

  • A. H. M. ter Hofstede
  • M. E. Orlowska
  • J. Rajapakse
Session 2: Processes
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1157)


Most of today's business requirements can only be accomplished through integration of various autonomous systems which were initially designed to serve the needs of particular applications. In the literature workflows are proposed to design these kinds of applications. The key tool for designing such applications is a powerful conceptual specification language. Such a language should be capable of capturing interactions and cooperation between component tasks of workflows among others. These include sequential execution, iteration, choice, parallelism and synchronisation. The central focus of this paper is the verification of such process control aspects in conceptual workflow specifications. As it is generally agreed upon that the later in the software development process an error is detected, the more it will cost to correct it, it is of vital importance to detect errors as early as possible in the systems development process. In this paper some typical verification problems in workflow specifications are identified and their complexity is addressed. It will be proven that some fundamental problems are not tractable and we will show what restriction is needed to allow termination problems to be recognized in polynomial time.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. H. M. ter Hofstede
    • 1
  • M. E. Orlowska
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. Rajapakse
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Distributed Systems Technology CentreThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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