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A scenario-based verification technique to assess the compatibility of collaborative business processes.

By Manu De Backer, Monique Snoeck, Geert Monsieur, Wilfried Lemahieu and Guido Dedene


Successful E-Business is based on seamless collaborative business processes. Each partner in the collaboration specifies its own rules and interaction preconditions. The verification of the compatibility of collaborative business processes, based on local and global views, is a complex task, which is critical for the success of the cooperation. The verification of process compatibility should be a key element in the design of new business alliances, which makes this verification essential in inter-organizational business process design. The advent of Web Services and Service Oriented Architectures stresses the need to solve complex business cooperations under the pressure of reduced costs and risks, combined with shorter time to market. At the same time, the message-based paradigm results in large and complex processes which makes the verification process quite hard. First the use of an atomic business activity based interaction paradigm is proposed to reduce the complexity of collaborative process models. Next, formal compatibility criteria for business processes are developed. The key construction is the notion of semantic compatibility, which can be used to assess the compatibility of the publicly exposed behavior (a.k.a business interfaces) between business partners in joint business processes. The formal nature of this compatibility allows to give a precise indication of the degree of compatibility between cooperating business partners. It enables exhaustive lists of incompatible (i.e. unsupported scenarios) business cooperations, which is more comprehensive and complete than the typical compatible or incompatible answer to this question. Finally, complex multiple party interactions can be examined in terms of the safety of the interaction protocols.Business process modeling; Analysis and verification; Petri nets; Atomic business activity;

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