Knowledge Management using Business Process Modelling and Workflow Techniques

Proposer: Yun-Heh (Jessica) Chen-Burger, 650 2756,;

Other Suggested Supervisors: Dave Robertson, 650 2705,

Subject Areas: Knowledge Based Systems, Formal methods: Specification Verification and Testing, Automated Reasoning/Theorem Proving,

Project Suitable for the Following Degrees: MSc in Informatics, MSc in AI.

Principal goal of the project: The principle goal of the project is to provide an implementation for FBPML (Fundamental Business Process Modelling Language).


The motivation for the project is to investigate whether AI techniques such as conceptualisation, knowledge representation, automatic reasoning and planning may be useful to bridge the gap that knowledge management today faces. This gap exists primarily between the ability of gathering and presenting knowledge and the ability to perform semantic-based manipulation of this knowledge.

This project proposes using structured semi-formal modelling methods, such as business process modelling languages, to capture organisation operations. Models using such modelling languages will provide a precise and concise meaning for enactment of workflow systems.

The main objective of the project is to understand and possibly extend a business process modelling language, FBPML[6][7], that is a merger of two standardised process modelling languages, IDEF3 [1] and PSL[2]. The benefit of merging the two process modelling languages is that the former provides an informal process conceptualisation that can be visualised, whereas the latter provides a formal process theory but without any visualisation. Although the two languages are not equal, their core concepts overlap. Such core concepts are included in BPML and are carefully arranged so that the consistency of FBPML is maintained.

The second objective is to provide a formalisation for all models using FBPML that is suitable to provide a knowledge basis to construct a workflow system. The formal representation should be fully compliant with FBPML and at the same time include all components needed for process enactment. The content of such a formal representation is unclear, as it needs to meet two requirements: it must correctly represent the processes described using FBPML, and it must provide aspects necessary to enact those processes. Based on this formal representation, a workflow engine should be designed and implemented.

Basic Objectives:

Additional Objectives:

Resources Required: A generic modelling system developed by previous project.

Degree of Difficulty: Medium to hard.

Background Needed: Prolog and Clips.