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Business-OWL (BOWL)—A Hierarchical Task Network Ontology for Dynamic Business Process Decomposition and Formulation
Second 2012 (vol. 5 no. 2)
pp. 246-259
E. W. Lee, Singapore Inst. of Manuf. Technol. (SIMTech), Singapore, Singapore
R. K. L. Ko, Nanyang Technol. Univ., Singapore, Singapore
S. G. Lee, Sch. of Mech. & Aerosp. Eng. (MAE), Nanyang Technol. Univ., Singapore, Singapore
Collaborative Business Processes (cBPs) form the backbone of enterprise integration. With the growing reliance on the web as a medium of business collaboration, there is an increasing need to quickly and dynamically form cBPs. However, current Business-to-Business (B2B) information systems are still static in nature, and are unable to dynamically form cBPs based on high-level Business Goals (BGs)and their underlying criteria (e.g., item cost, product name, order quantity, etc). This paper introduces the Business-OWL (BOWL), an ontology rooted in the Web Ontology Language (OWL), and modeled as a Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) for the dynamic formation of business processes. An ontologized extension and augmentation of traditional HTN, BOWL describes business processes as a hierarchical ontology of decomposable business tasks encompassing all possible decomposition permutations. Through BOWL, high-level business goals (e.g., "Buy”) can be easily decomposed right down to the lowest level tasks (e.g., "Send Purchase Order”), effectively bridging the gap between high-level business goals with operational level tasks and complementing currently static business process modeling languages. The design of BOWL and a case study demonstrating its implementation are also discussed.

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Index Terms:
simulation languages,business data processing,groupware,Internet,knowledge representation languages,ontologies (artificial intelligence),static business process modeling languages,business-OWL,BOWL,hierarchical task network ontology,dynamic business process decomposition,dynamic business process formulation,collaborative business processes,cBP,enterprise integration,Web,business-to-business information systems,B2B,high-level business goals,BG,Web Ontology Language,OWL,hierarchical task network,HTN,decomposable business task hierarchical ontology,decomposition permutations,operational level tasks,Service oriented architecture,Business,Collaboration,Enterprise resource management,electronic data interchange.,Workflow management,intelligent web services and semantic web,ontology design,computer-supported collaborative work
Citation:
E. W. Lee, R. K. L. Ko, S. G. Lee, "Business-OWL (BOWL)—A Hierarchical Task Network Ontology for Dynamic Business Process Decomposition and Formulation," IEEE Transactions on Services Computing, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 246-259, Second 2012, doi:10.1109/TSC.2011.48
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