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Event and Process Semantics will Rule RuleML, 2008 Paul Haley Automata, Inc. (412) Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
Standards vs. Vendors Until BRMS understand rules that refer to activities and events occurring within business processes, business rules application will remain largely confined to discrete decisions, such as encapsulation within a decision service. By incorporating an adequate ontology of process, state, events and action, however, the knowledge management capabilities first developed in BRMS will broaden to encompass much of BPM and complex event processing (CEP). Given the fact that BRMS has been incorporated by the dominant platform vendors, modeling should move up from the relatively narrow perspective of a BRMS into the broader context of BPM and CEP. Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
Why Process Ontology The ability to interchange semantic models across major BPM/rule vendors would dramatically increase the market for reusable, enterprise- relevant knowledge. The lack of ontology for events, processes, states, actions, and other concepts that relate to change over time limits rules or logic that govern processes or react to events to implementations rather than declarative knowledge. Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
Rules and Processes Integration is loose and inadequate –Rules have no visibility to process or state –Decisions are isolated from processes –Governance of processes by rules is not addressed Definition of processes by logic is not addressed Logical and business rules are 2 nd class citizens Knowledge management is denigrated Rules are merely implementation Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
Why dont these statements work? Underwriting must precede approval. Marital status is the state of people with respect to their participation in marriage. A plane flies from when it takes off to when it lands. A plane taxis between landing and taking off except when it is parked. Call a customer who has not responded to a notice within the applicable period. If a validated application has been submitted forward it to originations (or underwriting). Copyright © 2008, Vulcan, Inc. and Automata, Inc.
Code or Knowledge? Convergence of rules & BPM is fait accompli –What will SAP, IBM & Oracle bring to market? –What will Microsoft do (e.g., w/ SBVR)? –Will TIBCO build a BRMS to compete in BPM? Is there hope of vendor-independent rules? –PRR is probably more important than RIF Is there hope for knowledge management? –But PRR is inadequate for the knowledge level –Ontology is critical for knowledge interchange –Vocabulary is critical for accessibility Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
Vendor-Agnostic BRMS Ignoring technical details… –W3C standards (OWL and RIF) may be technically adequate –OMG standards (SBVR and PRR) may be technically adequate W3C and OMG standards are practically inadequate, however –Production rules (PRR and RIF) are at the implementation level –There is no connection between SBVR and PRR –There is no connection between vocabulary and RIF –Action is lacking in OWL Natural language or spreadsheet metaphors are critical for stakeholder and subject matter expert knowledge management Rule languages or object- or tuple-oriented approaches are – by comparison – unacceptable The market will continue to drive advancement in end-user accessibility, especially natural language expression Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
What Standards Lack W3C and OMG standards are maturing to adequacy –at least with regard to format –SBVR is ahead on vocabulary but not on ontology –ontologically they are likely to remain inadequate for years Convergence requires a process ontology –managing knowledge about processes requires one –managing knowledge within processes requires one Managing knowledge –about or involving states requires one –about actions (e.g., services) requires one Even managing knowledge about events requires one Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
Process Ontology Must relate processes and events –the concepts vs. the occurrences, of course –this will not happen by consensus a process is an event an occurrence of a process is an event Must relate processes and states Must include tense –past, present and future –perfected and progressive Will be impoverished without an ontology of time –SBVR time in progress, OWL Time inadequate An ontology of time requires an ontology of quantities –units, agreement, composition, conversion and accuracy come into play –a point in time plus an amount of time is a point in time Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
The ontology will soon cover Points in time and intervals of times –specific, recurring, and relative Times of the day and time zones –Universal time Days of the week, month, and year –the Gregorian Calendar Duration, units of time & accuracy Arithmetic involving times and durations Copyright © 2008, Vulcan, Inc. and Automata, Inc.
Semantic BPM: easier & better Each box is a sentence using a verb that references the semantics of a process Processes have causality and roles –Reviews result in findings. –Reviews are performed by agents. –The object of reviews are information. So the task doesnt make sense without identifying the potential or expected findings, the agent(s), and the information Copyright © 2008, Vulcan, Inc. and Automata, Inc.
Semantic CEP: easier & better Managing state becomes much simpler –a plane is no longer flying after it lands –a plane begins flying when it takes off Knowing that events and processes occur –allows when (and where) to be understood –a landing starts when a plane approaches CEP becomes simpler with a BRMS –that understands aggregates over time –that understands tense wrt states and processes Copyright © 2008, Vulcan, Inc. and Automata, Inc.
BRMS Fragmentation Broadening the BRMS perspective to encompass event and process contexts would fragment the ontology and vocabulary of BRMS from statements of logic, policy, or behavior. Modeling event-driven and business processes should (does) correspond to defining ontology. The ontology should be the same for BPM, CEP, or the BRMS, as will the behaviors. At runtime, rules would know what is happening in terms of events and processes without redundant representation and manual runtime interchange. Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
Ontology Beyond Rules When will the major CEP/BPM/rule vendors have ontologies? –When will anyone? –Will interchange be possible? Will third parties be able to drive the vendors? –There are no standards for CEP. –Can a tool generate BPMN or … and PRR or RIF or … ? Or do they have to do it on their own? What does this mean for rule standards? Copyright © 2008, Automata, Inc.
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