Task-Based Process Management
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Supporting the management of change in business processes using intelligent task management and coordination technologies


The overall aim of the TBPM project is to support the management of change in business processes with the help of intelligent task management and coordination technologies. To provide this support in a realistic business environment integration of existing tools and systems and effective communication must be achieved. In order to make the intelligent task management and coordination technologies feasible, advanced process modelling techniques are required together with an agreed terminology (ontology).

We propose to produce the following:


The TBPM is a collaborative project between the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute of the Division of Informatics at The University of Edinburgh and the Plant Engineering Group of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Loughborough University with industrial participation from BG (formally British Gas), ICI, and Unilever.

This work is funded by EPSRC as part of the SEBPC programme.


Process Modeller

The work is drawing on results from previous projects at AIAI like Enterprise and O-Plan. The major innovations will be to develop rich representations required for effective coordination and task management and to provide capture and visualisation tools for those rich representations. The representations will be linked into existing and emerging standards.


Ontologies provide the basis for modelling, integration, and communication. We will develop two ontologies: a process ontology and a domain ontology. The first will cover processes, roles, tasks, etc. The second will cover an application domain specified in sufficient detail for task management requirements. The major innovations will be to develop such ontologies linking into emerging standards and to use the ontologies for task management support.

Task and Option Manager

We will design and develop a task and option manager to support the enactment of processes. The task and option manager will be based on an agent-based architecture for integration together with support for agent development (writing new agents and converting legacy systems into agents). The main innovations will be the direct support of users tasks, the dynamic use of tools to support tasks, the explicit management of options and the use of coordination technologies to allow groups of people to contribute to a common task.

Case Studies

To evaluate the approach we are taking in the project, we will carry out industrial case studies. In the case studies we will address issues related to legacy systems, design rationale and conformance to standards in realistic business situations.


The project team is involved in the organization the following workshops:



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