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Artefact centric modeling - novel approach for the P2Endure BPMN models

Within the P2Endure project, we have developed models that depict various processes (e.g. inspection of the building, check funding, execute modeling of the building) along a renovation projects in an abstract and generally accepted way. We designed these models along the so called 4M (mapping, modeling, making, monitoring).

4M process
Lupe

The 4M process defines 4 sections of the building renovation and serves as a framework for the design of the process models of each section. For creating these models, we used the Business Process Notation Modeling (BPMN) language. The advantage of BPMN lies in the easily recognizable basic structure of the process flow and in the connection between (business) processes and IT implementation.

BPMN chart of a single P2Endure project
Lupe

However, as the BPMN process is mostly modeled by the trade as a sequence of process elements, it is relatively rigid. Models that address the individual needs of users can easily become confusing.

The actual goals of the individual process sections can therefore quickly fade into the background. To bring the project goal back to the foreground and to keep the individual models adaptable, we have taken another way of modeling: the so-called Artefact Centric Modeling (ACM). This modeling technic is a relative recent methodology that combines the business process management perspectives and the decision sciences. I.e., the structure of business process, its relationship with the resources needed, and the environment in which they will be used [1], and the decision-making process within the organization [2]. The ACM takes the defined process results of the existing BPMN models as the basis for the representation of the processes. Figure 3 shows the list of data as well as the list of activities which originally comes from the BPMN model.

List of data and list of activities for the Artefact Centric Modeling
Lupe

Results may not be created in a single step. The modeling approach consider this by the introduction of status values that results can pass through. Quality and completeness increase from state to state. Following the artifact-centric modeling, we began by considering an activity, its prerequisites, and results in states, i.e. an activity, its required and produced data, as an artifact. With the help of the relational algebra, we first calculate the relations between activities, i.e. the predecessors and successors of each activity. Then we can topologically sort all activities and determine the activity sequence. Each activity is assigned an ordinal number, which represents the activity's position in the execution order (parallel activities share the same position in the sequence). As a last step, we validate that the sequence is logically correct, namely no cycle lies within the process. Figure 4 illustrate the development of data, and specify the requirements and outcomes of each step.

Display the data with ACM
Lupe

With our approach, we provide the user process guidelines, which can be used during the renovation process. These process guidelines serve the user as orientation for the design of his renovation project. At the same time, we enable the user to dynamically adapt the project goals to the project's realities, creating a dynamic modeling system. We have also shown that the representation with the Artefact Centric Modeling language is much clearer compared to BPMN. With ACM is also possible to display the status of the respective process steps via ACM, which significantly increases the user's user experience.

In the coming weeks we will complete and publish our results. A corresponding news entry will follow. However, if you would like to know more about this project, you are welcome to do so. You can contact us at the following e-mail addresses:

tal.zaif@campus.tu-berlin.de

christoph_gutsche@tu-berlin.de

[1] R. Davis, Business process modelling with ARIS: a practical guide, London, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Science & Business Media, 2001.

[2] D. Neiger and L. Churilov, "Goal-Oriented Business Process Engineering Revisited: a Unifying Perspective," Computer Supported Acitivity Coordination, pp. 149-163, 2004.

[3] W. Huhnt, "Process Modelling in Civil Engineering", Structural Engineering International 1/2009, Journal of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), pp. 91-101, Zurich, Switzerland, 2009

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