Verifying Commitment Based Business Protocols and their Compositions: Model Checking using Promela and Spin

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Title: Verifying Commitment Based Business Protocols and their Compositions: Model Checking using Promela and Spin
Author: Cheng, Zhengang
Advisors: Laurie Williams, Committee Member
Peter R. Wurman, Committee Member
Munindar P. Singh, Committee Co-Chair
Mladen A. Vouk, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: A protocol-oriented approach of modeling and enacting business processes and workflows has been developed recently that offers advantages in terms of supporting the autonomy and heterogeneity of business partners and the reconfigurability of their process. Importantly, protocols are described using commitments, map to the individual computation of the participating roles, and can be composed to yield more complex protocols. However, verifying that the protocols, especially composed protocols, fully satisfy appropriate correctness properties remains an open problem. This dissertation presents a novel way to model business protocols in terms of commitments involved and the constraints for protocol composition. The correct composition of a business process can be expressed via individual protocol definitions and their composition constraints,thereby enabling the verification of large processes. Importantly, as part of the verification process, protocols are translated into the language Promela, which makes them amenable to analysis and verification using the model checker Spin. As a result many important properties of business protocols and their compositions into partial and full workflows can be verified, and improved protocols can be produced. The contribution of this dissertation is in providing a generalized mechanism for modeling commitments, formulating and verifying properties related to commitments. In fact, the results are applicable to a wide range of processes and related protocols, such as scientific discovery processes and workflows.
Date: 2006-08-22
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Computer Science

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