Models and systems for managing sensor and crowd-oriented processes

Tranquillini, Stefano (2014) Models and systems for managing sensor and crowd-oriented processes. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

PDF (Thesis) - Doctoral Thesis


Business process modeling refers to the design of business process models, using business processes languages, to orchestrate the work executed by employees, their interaction with external entities, and work items that are necessary to achieve a predefined goal. Model-driven development allows people, generally called modelers, to design also sophisticated application logic using high-level abstractions. Process modeling is typically connected with business, hence, existing process languages focus principally on the support and orchestration of activities executed by employees, or by external entities like web services. However, there is a wide range of other application logics that are process-driven and that can benefit from high-level abstractions to model low-level details. Our initial research focuses on distributed UIs, which are a distributed type of actors, and then particularly concentrated on Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) and crowdsourcing, which are distributed and also autonomous types of actors (they can execute a part of an application logic in an autonomous and isolated fashion). Developing applications in these areas requires a deep knowledge of the field and a non-trivial programming effort; domain experts have to code an orchestrate the logic executed by these actors. Since these applications are highly process-driven, domain experts could take advantage of high-level, process-oriented modeling conventions to design the internal logic of these kinds of applications. However, the intrinsic complexity of these domains and the current state of the art of modeling paradigms make the design and execution of processes for these new actors challenging. In this dissertation we analyze, design, and present modeling formalism and systems for managing processes in these contexts. We tackle the challenges of the three areas with an approach that analyzes and extends existing process modeling languages, to enable the design of the processes, and with an architecture, similar for the three focuses, to support the development and execution of processes. Starting from our initial work on the orchestration of distributed UIs, for which we present a modeling language with a set of modeling constructs specific for the UIs, we then present our contribution to WSNs and crowdsourcing domains, which are: a modeling convention for the development of WSN applications, with high-level modeling constructs that abstract the low-level details of the networks; and a modeling paradigm to design processes that are partially executed by a crowd of people. These languages are all equipped with prototypes that contain a modeling tool to design processes and a runtime environment to support the execution. The impact of this work is not only to the domains we focused on but also to the business process domain as we demonstrate how a process modeling is a flexible and suitable formalism to design processes with very diverging, domain-specific requirements.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Information and Communication Technology
PhD Cycle:26
Subjects:Area 01 - Scienze matematiche e informatiche > INF/01 INFORMATICA
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