An Incremental Approach to the Analysis and Transformation of Workflows using Region Trees

Copyright © (2008) by IEEE. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distrubuted for profit. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee.

The analysis of workflows in terms of structural correctness is important for ensuring the quality of workflow models. Typically, this analysis is only one step in a larger development process, followed by further transformation steps that lead from high-level models to more refined models until the workflow can finally be deployed on the underlying workflow engine of the production system. For practical and scalable applications, both analysis and transformation of workflows must be integrated to allow incremental changes of larger workflows. In this paper, we introduce the concept of a region tree for workflow models that can be used as the central data structure for both workflow analysis and workflow transformation. A region tree is similar to a program structure tree and imposes a hierarchy of regions as an overlay structure onto the workflow model. It allows an incremental approach to the analysis and transformation of workflows and thereby significantly reduces the overhead because individual regions can be dealt with separately.
The region tree is built using a set of region-growing rules. The set of rules presented here is shown to be correct and complete in the sense that a workflow is region-reducible as defined through these rules if and only if it is semantically sound.

By: Rainer F. Hauser; Michael Friess; Jochen M. Kuester; Jussi Vanhatalo

Published in: IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, volume 38, (no 3), pages 347 in 2008


This Research Report is available. This report has been submitted for publication outside of IBM and will probably be copyrighted if accepted for publication. It has been issued as a Research Report for early dissemination of its contents. In view of the transfer of copyright to the outside publisher, its distribution outside of IBM prior to publication should be limited to peer communications and specific requests. After outside publication, requests should be filled only by reprints or legally obtained copies of the article (e.g., payment of royalties). I have read and understand this notice and am a member of the scientific community outside or inside of IBM seeking a single copy only.


Questions about this service can be mailed to .