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Business-OWL (BOWL)—A Hierarchical Task Network Ontology for Dynamic Business Process Decomposition and Formulation

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3 Author(s)
Ryan K. L. Ko ; Nanyang Technological University, Singapore ; E. W. Lee ; S. G. Lee

Collaborative Business Processes (cBPs) form the backbone of enterprise integration. With the growing reliance on the web as a medium of business collaboration, there is an increasing need to quickly and dynamically form cBPs. However, current Business-to-Business (B2B) information systems are still static in nature, and are unable to dynamically form cBPs based on high-level Business Goals (BGs)and their underlying criteria (e.g., item cost, product name, order quantity, etc). This paper introduces the Business-OWL (BOWL), an ontology rooted in the Web Ontology Language (OWL), and modeled as a Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) for the dynamic formation of business processes. An ontologized extension and augmentation of traditional HTN, BOWL describes business processes as a hierarchical ontology of decomposable business tasks encompassing all possible decomposition permutations. Through BOWL, high-level business goals (e.g., "Buy”) can be easily decomposed right down to the lowest level tasks (e.g., "Send Purchase Order”), effectively bridging the gap between high-level business goals with operational level tasks and complementing currently static business process modeling languages. The design of BOWL and a case study demonstrating its implementation are also discussed.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Services Computing  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 2 )