Degree Name

Master of Information System (Research)


School of Economics and Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce


Process oriented technique such as workflow management system is attracting increasing attentions in the e-commerce environment, especially from an inter-organizational workflow perspective. A soundness concept, which identifies if a workflow can terminate properly, is an important factor that needs to be considered when designing a workflow. In an interorganizational workflow environment, the soundness issues become more complicated considering the size of the overall workflow and the privacy of the workflow within individual organization. One of the major approaches to tackle this problem is to use local criteria principle. This principle allows the soundness of the entire inter-organizational workflow to be achieved without knowing the detail workflow of every participating organization. This way, the privacy problem is addressed. Moreover, the coordination effort among business partners to ensure soundness can be reduced. However, this principle sometime can become too restrictive when we attempt to ensure the overall workflow is sound while changes are made to the workflow. It is not always easy to reach a balance between achieving soundness and flexibility. The public-to-private (P2P) approach is one of the important inter-organizational workflow design methods that follow the local criteria principle. The concept of branching bisimulation is considered as the local criterion in the P2P approach. This research investigates approaches to make the P2P approach more flexible by proposing a limited equivalence concept in an inter-organizational workflow context that can function as a local criterion. This research will also prove that this new local criteria concept will make the overall inter-organizational workflow sound.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.