Towards a method for business process and informal business rules compliance

Antonio De Nicola, Michele Missikoff, Fabrizio Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Business process reengineering (BPR) is a common practice for a continuous improvement of the organization and the operations of an enterprise. An important technique of BPR is based on business rules (BRs). The latter are, in general, represented using natural language and, therefore, carry a certain degree of imprecision and ambiguity; therefore, our first objective is to start from informal BR and disambiguate them by using a question answering method based on a decision table. The introduction of BRs impacts on existing business processes (BPs), requiring often a reengineering intervention. In this paper, we present an approach to BPR based on the systematic use of ontologies and semantic annotations and focused on dependency constraints, a particular kind of BRs. To this end, we propose the synergic use of Business Process Abstract Language, a BP modeling framework to represent BP schemas, and Object Process Actor modeling Language, an ontological framework to capture the semantics of a business scenario. Both the frameworks are grounded in logic, and therefore, it is possible to apply effective reasoning methods to make inferences over a Business Process Knowledge Base stemming from the union of the two above components. Then we propose a query engine allowing for the detection of BPs that are not compliant with the BRs and, more precisely, the specific BP segment where to intervene. The proposed platform has been conceived not to substitute existing BPM tools but to integrate them providing advanced services to support rule-based BPR activities. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341 - 360
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of software: Evolution and Process
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software

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