Formalizing (and Reasoning About) the Specifications of Workflows.
Goce Trajcevski, Chitta Baral and Jorge Lobo.
We address the problem of workflow requirements specifications
under realistic assumptions that it involves experts from
different domains (different business policies), where not all
the possible execution scenarios are known beforehand.
Using recent results on reasoning about actions, we
formalize the notion of the specifications' correctness.
To address this, we propose a high level language $\calw$ as a
basis of our prototype tool for process specification. We go
``one step'' before actual analysis and design, and offer a formalism
which enables the experts to specify their knowledge in terms of the
effects that the activities have on the workflow environment. Our
methodology allows expressing not only the knowledge, but also the
``ignorance'' (the semantics allows unknown values to reflect a
realistic situation of agents dealing with incomplete information)
and the possibility of exceptional situations. We define an entailment
relation which enables reasoning about the correctness of the
specifications, in terms of achieving a desired goal, and testing
about consequences of modifications in the workflow descriptions.