Data Flow and Validation in Workflow Modelling

Sadiq, S., Orlowska, M.E., Sadiq, W. and Foulger, C.

    A complete workflow specification requires careful integration of many different process characteristics. Decisions must be made as to the definitions of individual activities, their scope, the order of execution that maintains the overall business process logic, the rules governing the discipline of work list scheduling to performers, identification of time constraints and more. The goal of this paper is to address an important issue in workflows modelling and specification, which is data flow, its modelling, specification and validation. Researchers have neglected this dimension of process analysis for some time, mainly focussing on structural considerations with limited verification checks. In this paper, we identify and justify the importance of data modelling in overall workflows specification and verification. We illustrate and define several potential data flow problems that, if not detected prior to workflow deployment may prevent the process from correct execution, execute process on inconsistent data or even lead to process suspension. A discussion on essential requirements of the workflow data model in order to support data validation is also given.
Cite as: Sadiq, S., Orlowska, M.E., Sadiq, W. and Foulger, C. (2004). Data Flow and Validation in Workflow Modelling. In Proc. Fifteenth Australasian Database Conference (ADC2004), Dunedin, New Zealand. CRPIT, 27. Schewe, K.-D. and Williams, H. E., Eds. ACS. 207-214.
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