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YAWL: yet another workflow language

ter Hofstede, Arthur H.M. & van der Aalst, Wil M. (2005) YAWL: yet another workflow language. Information Systems, 30(4), pp. 245-275.

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Abstract

Based on a rigorous analysis of existing workflow management systems and workflow languages, a new workflow language is proposed: yet another workflow language (YAWL). To identify the differences between the various languages, we have collected a fairly complete set of workflow patterns. Based on these patterns we have evaluated several workflow products and detected considerable differences in their ability to capture control flows for non-trivial workflow processes. Languages based on Petri nets perform better when it comes to state-based workflow patterns. However, some patterns (e.g. involving multiple instances, complex synchronisations or non-local withdrawals) are not easy to map onto (high-level) Petri nets. This inspired us to develop a new language by taking Petri nets as a starting point and adding mechanisms to allow for a more direct and intuitive support of the workflow patterns identified. This paper motivates the need for such a language, specifies the semantics of the language, and shows that soundness can be verified in a compositional way. Although YAWL is intended as a complete workflow language, the focus of this paper is limited to the control-flow perspective.

Impact and interest:

645 citations in Scopus
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315 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 10244
Item Type: Journal Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.is.2004.02.002
ISSN: 0306-4379
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 18 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:12

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