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Tolerating Deviations in Process Support Systems via Flexible Enactment of Process Models
November 1998 (vol. 24 no. 11)
pp. 982-1001

Abstract—Process Support Systems (PSSs) support business organizations in modeling, improving, and automating their business process. Thanks to their ability in enacting process models, they can be used to guide people in performing their daily work and to automate the repetitive tasks that do not require human intervention. Given these potential benefits, it is surprising to observe that PSSs are not widely adopted. This is especially true in case of highly flexible and human-intensive processes such as design processes in general and software processes in particular. This fact can be explained by observing that currently available PSSs do not fulfill some crucial needs of modern business organizations. One of their major drawbacks is that they do not offer adequate mechanisms to cope with unforeseen situations. They are good at supporting business processes if all proceeds as expected, but if an unexpected situation is met, which would require to deviate from the process model, they often become more an obstacle than a help. This paper deals with the problem of managing unforeseen situations that require deviations from the process model during enactment in the context of the PROSYT PSS. During process model enactment, PROSYT is capable of tolerating deviations from the process model by supporting users even when unexpected situations arise. Furthermore, it supports users in reconciling the process model with the process actually followed, if necessary.

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Index Terms:
Process support system, workflow management system, process-centered software engineering environment, business process, process modeling, process enactment, deviation, inconsistency, event-based components integration.
Citation:
Gianpaolo Cugola, "Tolerating Deviations in Process Support Systems via Flexible Enactment of Process Models," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 24, no. 11, pp. 982-1001, Nov. 1998, doi:10.1109/32.730546
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