On the Usability of Triple Graph Grammars for the Transformation Business Process Models - An Evaluation based on FUJABA

By Selin Altan .
Advised by Marion Murzek and Gerti Kappel

This work has been finished in January 2008.

In recent years the need for business process model transformation has increased. The primary reason for this is the importance of business to business interopeability. A lot of research is done in this area Several transformation techniques exist in the field of MDA which is the model driven architecture as defined by Object Management Group (OMG).

In Business Process Modeling many modeling languages such as BPMN, activity diagrams, Event-Driven Process Chains et cetera are used. There is also a certain diversity in transformation techniques such as ATL, QVT or Kermeta. Most model transformation approaches focus on software development, and less in business processes. Therefore some approaches may be more or less suitable for this task than others.

In this master thesis, a transformation approach, namely Triple Graph Grammars will be inspected for its suitability in business process model transformation. Event-driven process chains and activity diagrams from UML 2.x are chosen as business process modeling languages because of the wide spread popularity of these languages. Fujaba will be used as transformation tool for its Triple Graph Grammar support and its extendibility.

In the thesis the business process modeling languages event-driven process chains and activity diagrams are described. Furthermore, several example models for event-driven process chains and activity diagrams are defined. In the practical part the goal is to develop Fujaba plug-ins for those modeling languages, as well as to define the Triple Graph Grammars rules based on the new plug-ins. The example models will be needed to test if the Triple Graph Grammar rules are intend correctly.

Fujaba is an open source project from the University of Paderborn. Its primary topic is to provide an extendable platform for UML, Story Driven Modeling and Graph Transformation platform with the ability to add plug-ins. In the master thesis this tool is used because of its mature Triple Graph Grammar support Another reason is its extensibility which is useful for creating custom plug-ins for event-driven process chains and activity diagrams.

The plug-ins are developed with Java and rely on the meta models of Activity diagrams and Event-driven process chains. The prepared meta models are also used when defining the Triple Graph Grammar rules as initial point. The meta models and the transformation are focused on control flow of business processes, because of its central importance in business process modeling. Organizational flow is also included as a secondary view.

In order to make a statement on how suitable the described approach is, a list of criteria is defined. Based on this criteria business process model transformation with triple graph grammars will be evaluated.


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