SEAM: A state-entity-activity-model for a well-defined workflow development methodology

Akhilesh Bajaj, Sudha Ram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Current conceptual workflow models use either informally defined conceptual models or several formally defined conceptual models that capture different aspects of the workflow, e.g., the data, process, and organizational aspects of the workflow. To the best of our knowledge, there are no algorithms that can amalgamate these models to yield a single view of reality. A fragmented conceptual view is useful for systems analysis and documentation. However, it fails to realize the potential of conceptual models to provide a convenient interface to automate the design and management of workflows. First, as a step toward accomplishing this objective, we propose SEAM (State-Entity-Activity-Model), a conceptual workflow model defined in terms of set theory. Second, no attempt has been made, to the best of our knowledge, to incorporate time into a conceptual workflow model. SEAM incorporates the temporal aspect of workflows. Third, we apply SEAM to a real-life organizational unit's workflows. In this work, we show a subset of the workflows modeled for this organization using SEAM. We also demonstrate, via a prototype application, how the SEAM schema can be implemented on a relational database management system. We present the lessons we learned about the advantages obtained for the organization and, for developers who choose to use SEAM, we also present potential pitfalls in using the SEAM methodology to build workflow systems on relational platforms. The information contained in this work is sufficient enough to allow application developers to utilize SEAM as a methodology to analyze, design, and construct workflow applications on current relational database management systems. The definition of SEAM as a context-free grammar, definition of its semantics, and its mapping to relational platforms should be sufficient also, to allow the construction of an automated workflow design and construction tool with SEAM as the user interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-431
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2002

Fingerprint

System program documentation
Context free grammars
Set theory
User interfaces
Semantics
Systems analysis

Keywords

  • Data modeling
  • Process modeling
  • Relational databases
  • Requirements engineering
  • Temporal models
  • Workflow systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Information Systems

Cite this

SEAM : A state-entity-activity-model for a well-defined workflow development methodology. / Bajaj, Akhilesh; Ram, Sudha.

In: IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, Vol. 14, No. 2, 03.2002, p. 415-431.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{53978745edb74d61a5dfe50dbf257dc2,
title = "SEAM: A state-entity-activity-model for a well-defined workflow development methodology",
abstract = "Current conceptual workflow models use either informally defined conceptual models or several formally defined conceptual models that capture different aspects of the workflow, e.g., the data, process, and organizational aspects of the workflow. To the best of our knowledge, there are no algorithms that can amalgamate these models to yield a single view of reality. A fragmented conceptual view is useful for systems analysis and documentation. However, it fails to realize the potential of conceptual models to provide a convenient interface to automate the design and management of workflows. First, as a step toward accomplishing this objective, we propose SEAM (State-Entity-Activity-Model), a conceptual workflow model defined in terms of set theory. Second, no attempt has been made, to the best of our knowledge, to incorporate time into a conceptual workflow model. SEAM incorporates the temporal aspect of workflows. Third, we apply SEAM to a real-life organizational unit's workflows. In this work, we show a subset of the workflows modeled for this organization using SEAM. We also demonstrate, via a prototype application, how the SEAM schema can be implemented on a relational database management system. We present the lessons we learned about the advantages obtained for the organization and, for developers who choose to use SEAM, we also present potential pitfalls in using the SEAM methodology to build workflow systems on relational platforms. The information contained in this work is sufficient enough to allow application developers to utilize SEAM as a methodology to analyze, design, and construct workflow applications on current relational database management systems. The definition of SEAM as a context-free grammar, definition of its semantics, and its mapping to relational platforms should be sufficient also, to allow the construction of an automated workflow design and construction tool with SEAM as the user interface.",
keywords = "Data modeling, Process modeling, Relational databases, Requirements engineering, Temporal models, Workflow systems",
author = "Akhilesh Bajaj and Sudha Ram",
year = "2002",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1109/69.991725",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "14",
pages = "415--431",
journal = "IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering",
issn = "1041-4347",
publisher = "IEEE Computer Society",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - SEAM

T2 - A state-entity-activity-model for a well-defined workflow development methodology

AU - Bajaj, Akhilesh

AU - Ram, Sudha

PY - 2002/3

Y1 - 2002/3

N2 - Current conceptual workflow models use either informally defined conceptual models or several formally defined conceptual models that capture different aspects of the workflow, e.g., the data, process, and organizational aspects of the workflow. To the best of our knowledge, there are no algorithms that can amalgamate these models to yield a single view of reality. A fragmented conceptual view is useful for systems analysis and documentation. However, it fails to realize the potential of conceptual models to provide a convenient interface to automate the design and management of workflows. First, as a step toward accomplishing this objective, we propose SEAM (State-Entity-Activity-Model), a conceptual workflow model defined in terms of set theory. Second, no attempt has been made, to the best of our knowledge, to incorporate time into a conceptual workflow model. SEAM incorporates the temporal aspect of workflows. Third, we apply SEAM to a real-life organizational unit's workflows. In this work, we show a subset of the workflows modeled for this organization using SEAM. We also demonstrate, via a prototype application, how the SEAM schema can be implemented on a relational database management system. We present the lessons we learned about the advantages obtained for the organization and, for developers who choose to use SEAM, we also present potential pitfalls in using the SEAM methodology to build workflow systems on relational platforms. The information contained in this work is sufficient enough to allow application developers to utilize SEAM as a methodology to analyze, design, and construct workflow applications on current relational database management systems. The definition of SEAM as a context-free grammar, definition of its semantics, and its mapping to relational platforms should be sufficient also, to allow the construction of an automated workflow design and construction tool with SEAM as the user interface.

AB - Current conceptual workflow models use either informally defined conceptual models or several formally defined conceptual models that capture different aspects of the workflow, e.g., the data, process, and organizational aspects of the workflow. To the best of our knowledge, there are no algorithms that can amalgamate these models to yield a single view of reality. A fragmented conceptual view is useful for systems analysis and documentation. However, it fails to realize the potential of conceptual models to provide a convenient interface to automate the design and management of workflows. First, as a step toward accomplishing this objective, we propose SEAM (State-Entity-Activity-Model), a conceptual workflow model defined in terms of set theory. Second, no attempt has been made, to the best of our knowledge, to incorporate time into a conceptual workflow model. SEAM incorporates the temporal aspect of workflows. Third, we apply SEAM to a real-life organizational unit's workflows. In this work, we show a subset of the workflows modeled for this organization using SEAM. We also demonstrate, via a prototype application, how the SEAM schema can be implemented on a relational database management system. We present the lessons we learned about the advantages obtained for the organization and, for developers who choose to use SEAM, we also present potential pitfalls in using the SEAM methodology to build workflow systems on relational platforms. The information contained in this work is sufficient enough to allow application developers to utilize SEAM as a methodology to analyze, design, and construct workflow applications on current relational database management systems. The definition of SEAM as a context-free grammar, definition of its semantics, and its mapping to relational platforms should be sufficient also, to allow the construction of an automated workflow design and construction tool with SEAM as the user interface.

KW - Data modeling

KW - Process modeling

KW - Relational databases

KW - Requirements engineering

KW - Temporal models

KW - Workflow systems

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0036509732&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0036509732&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1109/69.991725

DO - 10.1109/69.991725

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0036509732

VL - 14

SP - 415

EP - 431

JO - IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering

JF - IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering

SN - 1041-4347

IS - 2

ER -