MINERVA: Model drIveN and sErvice oRiented framework for the continuous business process improVement & relAted tools
The conceptual dimension of MINERVA is the basis on which rest the other two dimensions, it is defined to unify terminology, concepts and relationships between the framework elements. In this dimension an ontology is defined, based on the business process lifecycle (Weske, 2008) and its relationship with service oriented development, which is composed of seven sub-ontologies. An ontology defines relevant elements (concepts, relationships) in an area of interest (Gruber,1993), providing meaning to the vocabulary and formalizing restrictions on its use. Agreeing on the terminology used help us identify which elements of reality are important to use in metamodels and models representing such reality, filtering not necessary knowledge.
Based on the business processes lifecycle (Weske, 2008), we identified five groups defining sub-ontologies for: modeling, simulation, execution, measurement and evaluation of business processes. For service orientation, two conceptual groups were identified, defining sub-ontologies for service oriented modeling and execution. The defined ontology can be classified according to the "Taxonomy of ontologies for software engineering and software technology" (Ruiz, 2006) corresponding to the item A) Ontology of domain/Software technology (ST)/Information Technology and Systems/Models and Principles. The seven sub-ontologies comprising the ontology and their relationships are shown as UML packages in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. Ontology for the business process lifecycle and its realization by service oriented paradigm
It can be seen on the left side of Fig. 1 the sub-ontologies related with the business process lifecycle, and on the right side the service oriented ones. Horizontally, it can be observed, that the Service Oriented Modeling sub-Ontology (SOMsO) is obtained from the Business Process Modeling sub-Ontology (BPMsO), and the Service Oriented Execution sub-Ontology (SOEsO) is “used” by the Business Process Execution sub-Ontology (BPEsO), meaning that in an execution of a business process the execution of services realizing it will be invoked. Vertically, the BPEsO corresponds to the BPMsO meaning that the elements from the second one trace to elements from the first one, the same occurs for the SOEsO which corresponds to the SOMsO.The three most left sub-ontologies, corresponds to concepts the remaining business process lifecycle by defining: the Business Process Measuring sub-ontology (BPMEsO) which integrates measures for business process models and execution (García, 2005); the Business Process Evaluation sub-ontology (BPEVsO) which uses elements from measuring and execution sub-ontologies, defining other elements to analyze execution, for example Process Mining (van der Aalst, 2007) for event logs analysis; and the Business Process Simulation sub-ontology (BPSsO) which defines elements to simulate and to understand various characteristics of business process models prior to their execution.
Author: Andrea Delgado 2010