Knowledge Sharing, Coordinated Exception Handling, and Intelligent Problem Solving for Cross-Organizational Business Processes

TitleKnowledge Sharing, Coordinated Exception Handling, and Intelligent Problem Solving for Cross-Organizational Business Processes
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2001
Thesis Typephd
KeywordsBusiness processes, Exception handling, Intelligent systems, Inter-enterprise, Knowledge Sharing, workflow
Abstract

To date, Workflow Management Systems (WfMSs) have been used to support enterprise-wide business processes. With the advent of Internet commerce, business processes increasingly span organizational boundaries. Consequently, workflow technology needs to be extended to support such cross-organizational processes. Three of the most important research issues that arise in developing solutions for cross-organizational business processes are -- process construction, service fulfillment, and conflict resolution. This research primarily addresses the challenge of conflict resolution in cross-organizational processes using exception-handling techniques. Compared to extensive prior work on exception handling in programming languages and distributed system, cross-organizational processes present new challenges. Key challenges are the need to determine responsible party for handling exceptions, a variety of differences between exception handling mechanisms of each WfMS participating in cross-organizational processes, and lack of understanding or knowledge of outsourced or contracted processes. This dissertation represents one of the earliest comprehensive researches on the topic of conflict resolution in cross-organizational processes. We have proposed a detailed exception-handling strategy, have implemented a prototype system, and have conducted experiments using realistic applications to test its feasibility using a working WfMS. Our exception handling mechanism bundles knowledge sharing, flexible process coordination, and intelligent problem solving to handle exceptions in cross-organizational settings. Novel research contributions presented here include: 1. Application of case-based reasoning (CBR) in exceptional problem solving for cross- organizational business processes. Although CBR is used in handling exceptions inside a WfMS before, it has not been used in cross-organizational setting in the past. 2. Use of a similarity-matching scheme in the CBR that includes exception, process, and context matching in the case matching for handling exceptions across organizational boundaries. In particular, we support partial match to identify relevant cases. 3. Process dynamics exploration for the construction of flexible exception handling processes across organizational boundaries. Earlier work on dynamic workflow (flexible process) in cross-organizational setting considers various process modes but do not discuss exception handling. 4. A bundled strategy that provides more powerful solution than each of the individual techniques of knowledge sharing, coordination, and intelligent problem solving.

Full Text

ZongWei Luo, 'Knowledge Sharing, Coordinated Exception Handling, and Intelligent Problem Solving for Cross-Organizational Business Processes,' PhD Dissertation (Advisor: Amit Sheth), University of Georgia, January 2001.

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