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Table of Contents

In response to the need for flexible and easily adaptable process-aware information systems (PAISs), different paradigms and technologies for realizing them have emerged. Typical representative examples discussed in this book include pre-specified, constraint-based, and data-driven approaches. Using real-world cases from different application domains, the book presents a comprehensive review of the challenges that exist for flexible PAISs, and it gives detailed insights into concepts, paradigms and technologies for realizing them. Our approach is to present real-world needs and then to deliberate on various developments from academia and industry that may address these needs, thus identifying open questions where relevant.

The book is organized in five parts. Part I starts with an introduction of fundamental PAIS concepts and establishes the context of process flexibility in the light of practical scenarios. This is followed by a discussion of the challenges, concepts, methods, and technologies around process flexibility. More precisely, we discuss flexibility requirements of both pre-specified processes and loosely-specified processes. In summary: Part I of this book introduces PAIS and elaborates on flexibility challenges relating to them.

Part II focuses on flexibility support for pre-specified processes, the currently predominant paradigm in the field of business process management. First of all is discusses their modeling, verification, execution, adaptation, and evolution. Advanced topics covered in Part II include process modeling, process configuration, exception handling, ad-hoc adaptations of running process instances, analysis of dynamic processes, process model evolution, and business process compliance along the process lifecycle. Finally, realistic examples and exercises are provided for each chapter to illustrate the practical use of the different concepts and techniques.

Part III focuses on flexibility support for loosely-specified processes. Unlike pre-specified process models, they only partially specify the process model at build-time, while decisions regarding the exact specification of certain parts are deferred to the run-time. Part IIintroduces different decision deferral patterns for dealing with uncertainty and discusses constraint-based approaches to business process modeling and execution as well as data-driven processes. Part IV introduces existing technologies and systems for realizing a flexible PAIS. Finally, Part V summarizes the main ideas of this book and gives an outlook on advanced flexibility issues and topics.

In summary, the following topics are covered by this book:

  • challenges and requirements for flexible PAIS
  • flexibility support for both pre-specified processes and loosely-specified processes
  • state-of-the-art concepts, methods and technologies for enabling process flexibility, e.g., process configuration, exception handling, ad-hoc process changes, process schema evolution, process model refactoring, and late modeling.
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