Copenhagen Programming Language Seminar

Practical constraint-based workflow modeling

A. Kaare Nørgaard
Resultmaker A/S

Monday (!), May 21, 2007, 14:15-15:00
DIKU, Universitetsparken 1, Room N010


Current workflow systems are typically built on a data model based on either a flow diagram or a state machine. This leads to a problem having the nature of exponential complexity, if each step can combine freely with any other steps of the flow chart, and the result is either that workflow implementations run out of hand in design complexity, or they are too constrained to reflect reality (because the free combination is restricted), and as a result users find themselves locked and constrained by the IT system, that supports the workflow. Doctors complain about this and dismiss IT systems. As a result, vital workflows are still not supported, such as the medical sector, where clinical processes are still not subject to IT system guidance despite the fact that huge numbers of fatal errors are committed by humans that would have benefited from guidance.

The presentation shows, how a data model based on

  1. constraints instead of flow guidance (the Gantt chart of project plans) combined with
  2. global inclusion rules on each step in stead of routing decisions
  3. global milestones
can provide a workflow system with linear complexity in design and with the support of important things like
  1. overlaying of workflows (a patient suffers two diseases at the same time and two treatment plans must be merged)
  2. change of decision while undertaking the flow, without routing back to the decision point (the diagnosis is changed during treatment).

About the presenter: Kaare is Chief Executive Officer of Resultmaker A/S, which develops workflow software and solutions for e-government, e-health, financial services companies and large enterprises. He remarks: "The presenter used to have a high academic standard out of university in 1990, but has since degenerated to being the CEO of a software firm :-)."

Scientific host: Fritz Henglein. Administrative host: Camilla Torp-Smith. All are welcome.
The Copenhagen Programming Language Seminar (COPLAS) is a collaboration between DIKU, ITU, KVL and RUC.
COPLAS is sponsored by the FIRST Graduate School.
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