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Tolerating deviations in process support systems via flexible enactment of process models

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1 Author(s)
G. Cugola ; Dipt. di Elettronica e Inf., Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Process support systems (PSSs) support business organizations in modeling, improving and automating their business processes. 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 fulfil 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 one 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 (PROcess Support sYstem capable of Tolerating deviations) 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

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 11 )