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HPI Kolloquium: "Flexible, Adaptable & Compliant Process-Aware Information Systems with DCR Graphs"

Prof. Thomas Hildebrandt (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

5. November 2015

Abstract

Software systems today support complex processes and interactions between humans and machines
in many different variants, from the embedded controller in a pace maker to the hospital workflow
system. On the one hand, these process-aware information systems often operate in unpredictable and
changing contexts which calls for both flexibility and adaptability. On the other hand, it is getting
more and more critical that the software system behaves correctly and is compliant with safety, security and legal regulations. In this talk we will present theory and applications of Dynamic Condition
Response (DCR) graphs, a declarative event-based process language and the commercial
DCRGraphs.net tool supporting collaborative process design and simulation. The language and tool
is the result of the TrustCare.eu research project and a subsequent industrial PhD project supported
by the Danish national research foundations, ITU and Exformatics A/S and the ongoing Computational Artefacts (CompArt) project supported by the Velux foundation. From a theoretical point of
view, the DCR process language generalizes the seminal model of event-structures to allow for finite
representations of infinite behavior and a distinction between events that may and must occur. This
makes the model able to characterize with finite state models the union of regular and omega-regular
properties and thus the specification and verification of both safety and liveness properties. The extension to timed DCR graphs maintains the finite state, regular behavior, while extensions with dynamic generation of sub processes makes the language Turing complete. From a practical point of
view, DCR graphs have been applied by Exformatics as the foundation for their general adaptive case
management solution and has been applied on real cases in different domains, spanning from
healthcare to financial processes and emergency management

Short CV

Thomas Hildebrandt is associate professor at IT University of Copenhagen and head of the Process
and System Models research group (www.itu.dk/research/models). Hildebrandt obtained his PhD in
1999 from Aarhus University and has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers in the areas of
formal models for concurrency, distributed and mobile systems and applications to the implementation of process-aware information systems. He has been the principal investigator of several nationally funded interdisciplinary research projects with industry partners. Currently he is member of the
management committee for an EU COST action on behavioral types for complex distributed systems
and co-investigator on the Computational Artefacts (www.compart.ku.dk) project supported by the
Velux foundation. He is facilitator for interest groups in the area of processes and IT in two innovation networks (Infinit.dk and the new innovation network for finance and IT, www.cfir.dk) and employed as expert in the private knowledge network VidenDanmark.dk facilitating a knowledge group
on digitalization and process-orientation.

Host

Prof. Dr. Mathias Weske