Publication Details

Hinge, K., Ghose, A. K. & Koliadis, G. (2009). Process SEER: a tool for semantic effect annotation of business process models. Thirteenth IEEE International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference (EDOC 2009) (pp. 54-63). Los Alamitos, USA: IEEE.


A key challenge in devising solutions to a range of problems associated with business process management: process life cycle management, compliance management, enterprise process architectures etc. is the problem of identifying process semantics. The current industry standard business process modeling notation, BPMN, provides little by way of semantic description of the effects of a process (beyond what can be conveyed via the nomenclature of tasks and the decision conditions associated with gateways). In this paper, we describe the conceptual underpinnings, design, implementation and evaluation of the process SEER tool that supports several strategies for obtaining semantic effect descriptions of BPMN process models, without imposing an overly onerous burden of using formal specification on the analyst. The tool requires analysts to describe the immediate effects of each task. These are then accumulated in an automated fashion to obtain cumulative effect annotations for each task in a process. The tool leverages domain ontologies wherever they are available. The tool permits the analyst to specify immediate effect annotations in a practitioner-accessible controlled natural language, which enables formal specification using a limited repertoire of natural language sentence formats. The tool also leverages semantic Web services in a similar fashion.



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