Using soft constraints to guide users in flexible business process management systems

Christian Stefansen, Signe Ellegård Borch

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    Current Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) allow designers to specify processes in highly expressive languages supporting numerous control flow constructs, exceptions, complex predicates, etc., but process specifications are expressed in terms of hard constraints, and this leads to an unfortunate trade off: information about preferred
    practices must either be abandoned or promoted to hard constraints. If abandoned, the BPMS cannot guide its users; if promoted to hard constraints, it becomes a hindrance when unanticipated deviations occur. Soft constraints can make this trade-off less painful. Soft constraints specify what rules can be violated and by how much. With soft constraints, the BPMS knows what deviations it can permit, and it can guide the user through the process. The BPMS should allow designers to easily specify soft goals and allow its users to immediately see the seriousness of their violations at runtime. We believe, this provides a combination of guidance and flexibility not otherwise attainable.
    Udgivelsesdato: 2008
    TidsskriftInternational Journal of Business Process Integration and Management
    Udgave nummer1
    Sider (fra-til)26-35
    StatusUdgivet - 2008