International Journal of applied mathematics and computer science

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Paper details

Number 3 - September 2010
Volume 20 - 2010

Numbering action vertices in workflow graphs

Zoltán Ádám Mann

Workflow graphs, consisting of actions, events, and logical switches, are used to model business processes. In order to easily identify the actions within a workflow graph, it is useful to number them in such a way that the numbering reflects the structure of the workflow. However, available tools offer only rudimental numbering schemes. In the paper, a set of natural requirements is defined that a logical numbering should fulfill. It is investigated under what conditions there is an appropriate numbering at all, when it is uniquely defined by the set of requirements, and when it can be computed efficiently. It is shown that for an important special class of workflow graphs, namely, structured workflow graphs, the answer to all these questions is affirmative. For general workflow graphs, a set of requirements is presented that can always be fulfilled, but the numbering is not necessarily unique. An algorithm based on a depth-first search can be used to compute an appropriate numbering efficiently.

workflow graph, flowchart, event-driven process chain, numbering, depth-first search