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Friday, 24 May 2013 17:03

Pattern TP9: Cyclic Elements

Regarding iteratively performed activities or process fragments it may become necessary to restrict time lags between two activity instances belonging to different iterations of a loop structure. This may be either instances of the same activity or instances of two different activities belonging to the same loop structure.

Also known as

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Problem

In the context of iteratively performed activities or process fragments, there is a given time lag between activities, where respective instances of these activities may belong to different iterations of the loop structure. This may either be instances of a single activity or of two different activities belonging to the same cycle.

Design Choices

C Cyclic Elements only constrain the execution of activities
a Single activity (including multi-instance activities)
D There are three kinds of restrictions
a Minimum value
b Maximum value
c Time interval [min … max]
E Cyclic Elements define the distance between the
a start of two activities (i.e., Start-Start relation)
b start of the first and the completion of the second activity (i.e., Start-End)
c completion of the first and the start of the second activity (i.e., End-Start)
d completion of two activities (i.e., End-End)
K Cyclic element may restrict the time lag between
a two directly succeeding iterations
b two subsequent activity instances belonging to arbitrary iterations
L Time lag between cycles
a is fixed
b may vary between iterations

CyclicElementsSolution

A special time constraint is introduced between the start / end events of the activities where the respective event of the second activity is considered to be in a succeeding iteration of the event referring to the first activity. This pattern can be realized at run-time similar to pattern TP1 with additional attention being paid to the iterations of the respective activities.

Context

The mechanism evaluating the constraint (i.e., starting the timer) needs to be able to access the value of the time lag when it starts the timer. Additionally, time lags may vary between iterations (cf. Design Choice L). Therefore, these requirements need to be fulfilled for each iteration of the respective loop.

Examples

  • Administer 50 to 75 mg in equally divided doses every 12 hrs for 5 subsequent days (Design Choices D[c] E[c] K[a] L[a]).
  • Maintenance aircraft “C Checks” are performed every 12-18 months (Design Choices D[c] E[c] K[b] L[a])
  • Cycle Time for maintenance aircraft “C Checks” is at least 2 weeks (Design Choices D[a] E[a] K[a] L[a])

Related Patterns

Product Evaluation

We differentiate between supported, partially supported, not supported and not specified.
If an evaluation object provides support for the particular pattern the supported design choices are listed. If the pattern is only partially supported (e.g., by a work-around) this is indicated by the additional label "*" and if support is not specified this is indicated by the label "?". Missing support is labeled with "-".

Product/LanguageVersionScoreMotivation
Microsoft Outlook 2010 D[a], E[a, c], K[a], L[a] partially supported
Sunbird 1.0 D[a], E[a], K[a], L[a] partially supported
Google Calendar 12.2011 D[a], E[a], K[a], L[a] partially supported
Microsoft Project 2010 D[a*], E[a*,c*], K[a], L[a] partially supported
BPMN 2.0 D[a*], E[c*], K[a], L[a,b] partially supported (with limits)
IBM Websphere Integration Developer 6.1 D[a*], E[a*,c], K[a], L[a,b] partially supported through a work-around
WebSphere Lombardi Edition 7.1 D[a*], E[c*], K[a], L[a,b] partially supported (with limits)
AristaFlow 1.0.1 D[b], E[c*,d*], K[a], L[a,b] partially supported
Intalio 6.0.3 D[a*], E[c], K[a], L[a,b] partially supported through a work-around
TIBCO Business Studio 3.4.2 D[a*], E[c*], K[a], L[a] partially supported (with limits)
Bettini et al. loops are explicitly excluded from considerations
Combi et al. D[a,b,c], E[a?,b?,c?,d?], K[a], L[b] partially supported (but not really clear)
Eder et al. loops are explicitly excluded from considerations
Marjanovic et al. loops are explicitly excluded
Zhuge et al. not discussed
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Involved Partners

andreaslanz 50

 

Andreas Lanz
University of Ulm, Institute of Databases and Information Systems

 

 

manfredreichert 50

Manfred Reichert
University of Ulm, Institute of Databases and Information Systems

 

 

barbaraweber 50

Barbara Weber
University of Innsbruck, Department of Computer Science

 

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Important Publications

Lanz, A. and Weber, B. and Reichert, M. (2012) Time patterns for process-aware information systems.Requirements Engineering.

 

Lanz, A. and Weber, B. and Reichert, M. (2010) Workflow Time Patterns for Process-aware Information Systems. In: BPMDS'10.