Concurrency & Asynchrony in Declarative Workflows

Søren Debois, Thomas Hildebrandt, Tijs Slaats

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Declarative or constraint-based business process and workflow notations have received increasing interest in the last decade as possible means of addressing the challenge of supporting at the same time flexibility in execution, adaptability and compliance. However, the definition of concurrent semantics, which is a necessary foundation for asynchronously executing distributed processes, is not obvious for declarative formalisms and is so far virtually unexplored. This is in stark contrast to the very successful Petri-net–based process languages, which have an inherent notion of concurrency. In this paper, we pro- pose a notion of concurrency for declarative process models, formulated in the context of Dynamic Condition Response (DCR) graphs, and exploiting the so-called “true concurrency” semantics of Labelled Asynchronous Transition Systems. We demonstrate how this semantic underpinning of concurrency in DCR Graphs admits asynchronous execution of declarative workflows both conceptually and by reporting on a prototype implementation of a distributed declarative workflow engine. Both the theoretical development and the implementation is supported by an extended example; moreover, the theoretical development has been verified correct in the Isabelle-HOL interactive theorem prover.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science : Proceedings of 13th International Conference on Business Process Management (BPM 2015)
Publication date31 Aug 2015
ISBN (Print)978-3319230627
ISBN (Electronic)978-3319230627
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2015
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


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