Risk-Aware Business Process Management

DP110100091 ARC Discovery Grant 

Arthur ter Hofstede
Michael Rosemann
Colin Fidge
Moe Wynn
Marcello La Rosa
Michael Adams
Chun Ouyang
Wil van der Aalst (Partner Investigator)

Budget: AUD$450,000
Period: 2011-2013

Summary:   This project will unify the fields of risk management and business process management, providing a conceptual foundation for risk-aware business processes and defining best practices in their design and deployment. This first-time integration of risk and process management will lead to profound impact in an important area, as recent risk control and process failures show (e.g., NAB trading scandal, Heathrow Terminal 5). The project will use sound theoretical foundations and empirical evaluations to deliver a range of techniques, tools and practices for recognising and managing risk in business processes. These outcomes will have broad applicability and uptake in a wide range of industries.

Facilitating Business Process Standardisation and Reuse

LP110100252 ARC Linkage Grant 

Marcello La Rosa
Jan Recker
Arthur ter Hofstede
Michael Rosemann
Jamie Cornes (Partner Investigator)

Budget: AUD$210,000
Period: 2011-2013

Summary:   Business Process Management (BPM) is a recognised number one priority for Australian organisations. Successful BPM relies on the existence of advanced repositories providing access to graphical process models. However, current solutions have severe limitations in terms of reuse and standardisation of best process practices. This project will a) develop and validate an innovative, open-source platform to support the reuse and standardisation of best process practices, and b) specify appropriate governance structures for its use. The application of this solution in the challenging context of one of Australia's largest insurance providers will lead to a robust and scalable contribution to one of the most pressing management challenges.

Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre

Our work (2010-2012) was focussed on the application of Business Process Management to construction management. The centre's home page can be found here

Smart Services CRC

Our work (2010-2013) was focussed on management of large process model repositories. This work culminated in the PhD thesis of Chathura Ekanayake. The CRC's home page can be found here

Rapidly Locating Items in Distribution Networks with Process-Driven Nodes

DP0773012 ARC Discovery Grant 

Colin Fidge
Arthur ter Hofstede
Marlon Dumas

Budget: AUD$290,000
Period: 2007-2009

Summary:   Safety-critical product recalls are a major public health issue in Australia. Recent extortion attempts involving poisoning of chocolate bars, paracetamol tablets and biscuits have demonstrated the urgent need for improved ways of locating commercial products that have been released into the community. Existing product recall tools are effective only within regulated manufacturing and warehousing facilities. This project will develop novel techniques for locating items in large-scale distribution networks driven by complex logistic processes. The outcomes of the project will make it easier to rapidly and accurately pinpoint product locations outside controlled facilities, thus contributing to both cost savings and public safety.

Expressiveness Comparison and Interchange Facilitation between Business Process Execution Languages

DP0451092 ARC Discovery Grant

Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede (Chief Investigator)
Marlon Dumas (Chief Investigator)
Wil M.P. van der Aalst (Partner Investigator)

Budget: AUD$240,000
Period: 2004-2006

Summary:  Developments in the area of business process management are currently hindered by the plethora of diverse business process execution languages. This project will develop techniques for dealing with interoperability issues induced by this language heterogeneity. The project combines theoretical research, grounded in concurrency theory and workflow patterns, with pragmatic research focusing on languages supported by commercial tools. The outcome will be a framework for comparing the expressiveness of process execution languages and defining mappings between them. This will place Australia at the forefront of developments in business process management systems: a crucial technology in today's global, dynamic, and heterogeneous environments.

Tools developed as part of this project can be downloaded from this page.

Next-Generation Reference Process Models

DP0665480: ARC Discovery Grant

Michael Rosemann
Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede
Marlon Dumas
Wil M.P. van der Aalst
Michael zur Muehlen

Budget: AUD$282,000 (2006: $110,000; 2007: $85,000; 2008: $87,000)
Period: 2006-2008

Summary: Business process modelling is a key tool for organisations striving to create efficiencies by leveraging their IT infrastructure. This project will develop techniques for increasing the productivity of business process analysts by allowing them to reuse as much as possible existing models rather than systematically desigining new ones from scratch. Specifically, the project will develop and validate a language for designing highly configurable process models. This language will enable superior approaches to business process modelling and hence smarter use of information. This will place Australia at the forefront of developments in business process management: a crucial technology in today's global, dynamic and heterogeneous environments.

Reconciling Activity-centric and Business Object-centric Approaches to Business Process Modelling

LP0562363: ARC Linkage Grant with SWS (Industry Partner)

Marlon Dumas
Arthur H.M. ter Hofstede
Adrian Iordachescu (Partner Investigator, SWS)
Jarka Sipka (Partner Investigator, SWS)

Budget: AUD$72,444 (2005: $12,074; 2006: $24,148; 2007: $24,148; 2008: $12,074)
Period: 2005-2008

Summary:  Business process models are a fundamental instrument for analysing and automating the operations of organisations. At present, the space of business process modelling techniques is characterised by fragmentation with various approaches striking different tradeoffs. Two major families of approaches can be distinguished: activity-centric and business object- centric. These approaches correspond to complementary viewpoints. We see great potential in creating a level of integration between them. Accordingly, the project will investigate the relative expressiveness of these approaches, identify incompatibilities and synergies, and design model transformations. This will establish a foundation for next-generation business process modelling tools.

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation

Stuart Cunningham (Director) et al.
Arthur ter Hofstede (Chief Investigator)

Budget: AUD$7 million
Period: 2005-2010

Centre Home Page  

A brief description of some of our work can be found here.  

Component System Architecture for an Open Distributed Enterprise Management System with Configurable Workflow Support


P. Roe (Chief Investigator)
G. Mohay (Principal Investigator)
A.H.M. ter Hofstede (Chief Investigator)
D. Cox (Partner Chief Investigator)
J.R. Ellwood (Associate Investigator)

Budget: AUD$240,000
Period: 1998-2000  

This project, which was a collaboration with Mincom and Programming Languages and Systems, focussed on component technology and workflow management. This project was sponsored by the ARC through a SPIRT grant.

My contributions in this project were twofold. First, in collaboration with Bartek Kiepuszewski, we investigated the formal foundations of workflow modelling languages. This has led to a number of expressiveness results:

  • Fundamentals of Control Flow in Workflows (Acta Informatica 39(3):143-209, 2003)
  • The following publication discusses the implications of syntactic restrictions, in particular requiring the proper nesting of joins and splits and loops to have unique start and end points, sometimes imposed by commercially available workflow management systems and languages proposed in the literature, on the expressive power of the language:

  • On Structured Workflow Modelling. (In: Proceedings CAiSE'2000, LNCS Vol. 1798, Springer Verlag)
  • Apart from these formal investigations, we have also taken a pragmatic approach to workflow expressiveness. Our experiences with workflow modelling languages and business process modelling has led to the identification of about 20 workflow patterns. We used these patterns as benchmarks to evaluate 13 commercially available workflow engines (COSA, InConcert, Domino Workflow, FLOWer, Eastman, MQSeries/Workflow, Filenet Visual Workflo, Verve Workflow, Forte Conductor, HP Changengine, Fujitsu's I-Flow, Staffware, SAP R/3 Workflow) and 2 research prototypes (Meteor and Mobile). Preliminary results can be found in the following paper, which focusses on some of the more complex patterns.

  • Advanced Workflow Patterns (In: Proceedings CoopIS'2000, LNCS Vol. 1901, Springer Verlag)
  • For a more complete discussion of the workflow patterns refer to

  • Workflow Patterns (Distributed and Parallel Databases, 14(3):5-51, July 2003)
  • and the Workflow Patterns Home Page

    We have also researched the incorporation of a workflow management system in Mincoms Management Information System (MIMS).

  • Experiences with integrating a workflow engine in MIMS. (In: Proceedings Workflow Management'99, Muenster, Germany)

Self-describing Transactions Operating in a Large, Open, Heterogeneous and Distributed Environment


A. ter Hofstede (Principal Investigator)
B. Benatallah (Chief Investigator)
D. Edmond (Chief Investigator)
N. Russell (Partner Chief Investigator)
A. Murdoch (Associate Investigator)
P. Petersen (Associate Investigator)

Budget: AUD$285,000
Period: 1999-2001

In collaboration with GBST research was conducted into e-commerce over the internet. In particular, focus was on self describing transactions capable of resource discovery, negotiation, and settlement. This project, called REDCONE, has its own webpage, which can be found here.

Managing Changes in Dynamic Workflow Environments


B. Benatallah (Principal Investigator)
A. Ramer (Chief Investigator)
A. ter Hofstede (Chief Investigator)
M. O'Dell (Partner Chief Investigator)
Budget: AUD$261,000 
Period: 2000-2002
This grant was administered through UNSW and had JustWin Technologies as the industry partner.

Evaluation of Architectures of e-Business Interoperability

QUT Strategic Links with Industry Grant (with SAP)

Marlon Dumas
Arthur ter Hofstede
Kim Elms (SAP)
Budget: AUD$37,000 (AUD$24,800 SAP + AUD$12,400 QUT)
Period: January 2004 - December 2004 
Abstract: Achieving interoperability across enterprise boundaries is a key step towards enabling the large-scale uptake of e-business. Several architectures for inter-enterprise interoperability have been proposed and are supported to varying degrees by standards and commercial products. The variety of existing interoperability architectures has created a need for guidance. This project will investigate several interoperability architectures and will evaluate them in terms of capabilities, limitations, infrastructure requirements, etc. The outcome will be a comparative analysis of interoperability architectures and criteria for choosing one of them (or a combination thereof) in a given e-business interaction scenario.

Service Choreography Patterns: A Reference Framework for Interconnecting Business Processes

QUT Strategic Links with Industry Grant (with SAP)

Arthur ter Hofstede
Marlon Dumas
Helen Paik
Alistair Barros (SAP)
Budget: AUD$70,000 (AUD$47,000 SAP + AUD$23,500 QUT)
Period: 1 December 2004 - 30 November 2005
Abstract: Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA) have emerged as a promising paradigm for interconnecting business processes across organizational boundaries: a subject of open challenges in the area of Business Process Management (BPM). Recent developments in SOA have resulted in increasingly sophisticated technology and associated standards, creating a need for consolidated insights and best practices. This project will address this need by formally capturing the requirements of service-oriented business process interconnection in the form of a collection of service choreography patterns. These patterns will be used to analyze relevant standards and tools. The project will strengthen the strategic relationship between QUT and SAP in the area of BPM by complementing ongoing externally funded projects and paving the way for future ones.
For more information please visit the service interaction web site.


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