Journal of Software Engineering and Applications, 2011, 4, 619-625
doi:10.4236/jsea.2011.411073 Published Online November 2011 (
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JSEA
Business Process Modeling Based on Norm
Jun Zhao1, Xixia Wang2
1School of Economics and Management, Ningxia University, Yinchuan, China; 2School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences,
Ningxia University, Yinchuan, China.
Email: {wwwzhaojun, 148112319}
Received August 25th, 2011; revised September 22nd, 2011; accepted November 2nd, 2011.
As to the question that the current enterprise information system can not adapt quickly to shifting business, this paper
mainly studied business process adaptability according to Norm and SOA and proposed a business process modeling
method based on Norm. The purpose is to enable business change in the information systems more flexible and better
meet the current market and customer demands.
Keywords: Norm, Business Process Modeling, UML
1. Introduction
With the rapid development of economic globalization,
the enterp r is e mark e t an d cu sto mer r e qu ir emen t a r e ch an-
ging rapidly. Accordingly, the enterprise business proc-
ess has also shown rapidly change, dynamic and diverse
features. As is well known, business process is the core
of enterprise operation and plays an important role.
When the enterprise business processes frequently chan-
ge, the existing information system may need to make
large changes, even need to build a new information sys-
tem. Resulting in enterprise information systems can not
adapt quickly to business requirement of enterprises.
This has seriously affected the function of enterprise in-
formation systems and restricted the development of en-
Under this background, this paper studies business
process adaptability of information system. The purpose
is to enable business change in the information systems
more flexible and better meet the current market and
customer requirement [1].
2. Research on Business Processes
The study on business process adaptability is currently
focused on three areas [2-4]. Firstit is from the imple-
mentation technique perspective, how the information
system to achieve these changes in business processes.
Now, the main application is SOA technolog y. Next, it is
from the software requirements analysis and business
process modeling perspective, research the business pro-
cess adaptability to meet the needs of process reengi-
neering. Finally, consider the establishment of a flexible
business process mod el, so that it has a good adap tability
to dynamic changes of all kinds in the course of imple-
Considering the high quality of SOA and central role
of the business process in the enterprise, this paper com-
bines the first and the second areas, r esearch on business
process modeling in the process of building service-ori-
ented information system. Business process modeling
problem focused on business process modeling method
and language. Current modeling methods such as, busi-
ness process diagram, IDEF series model and the event
process chain etc, they lack of full attention to the orga-
nization and their role. It is difficult to describe complex
business process constraints. The most popular Business
Process Execution Language BPEL also difficult to gra-
phical modeling, lack of support for business rules and
other issues [5].
In this paper, through introducing the Norm to analyze
and express the business needs in the process of the
business process modeling, a business process modeling
method based on norm was proposed. The purpose is to
enable information systems in business process modeling
stage to be able to fully express their business require-
ment, eliminate ambiguity, making the software system
more flexible to adapt to business changes.
3. Research on Norm-Based Business
Process Modeling Method
Because this paper research business process modeling in
the service-oriented information system, first of all in-
troduce the service-oriented information system analysis
Business Process Modeling Based on Norm
3.1. Service-Oriented Information System
Analysis Process
As shown in Figure 1: Through the realization of two
parallel processes of business analysis and service design,
development, you can quickly develop a system model.
Thus shorten the development cycle, enhance the system
reusability and agility. Specific aspects responsibilities
are as follows:
1) System Position
System position is generally analyze by UML deploy-
ment diagrams. It describes the static view of the soft-
ware components of a hardware node and each node run-
time. Our aim is to understand the relationship between
service-oriented information systems and the surrounding
system. Deployment diagrams show not only the system
hardware, but also the relevant system software and mid-
dleware of connect heterogeneous systems.Through the
deployment diagrams, we can clearly see the relationship
among the multi-systems.
2) Functional Analysis
At this stage, we can describe user requirements by
Logic La yer
Ana l
Legacy Syste m
Legacy Syste m
Implemen t
Figure 1. Service-oriented information system analysis pro-
use case diagram of UML. Functional analysis in the
whole modeling process occupies a vital position. It affe-
cts analysis and design of other systems view. When us-
ing SOA to build a system, the system often interact with
multiple heterogeneous systems. Therefore, when we
analyzed the system by use case diagram, not only to
analyze its own system role use case, but also to analyze
the role use case of its interactive system.
3) Process Analysis
According to the analysis result of the second step by
use case diagram, system functions are generally divided
into two parts. One is relatively complex business proc-
ess use case. It find the service operation by UML activ-
ity diagram to analyze the entire business process. The
other is simple and independent use case. It can be di-
rectly as a service operation.
4) Service Discovery
According to the UML business process diagram of
the third step result, the complex business processes are
gradually decomposed into fine-grained processes and
get the function by analysis of the activities of the proc-
esses. The function can be as service operation, with the
services operation from the simple use case, you can
analyze all the candidate services that systems develop-
ment demands. In the development process, it must be
noted that not all business functions should be achieved
by service.
5) Service Modeling
The fourth step certainly knew the system contains
what services and their function. Step 5 needs for stan-
dardization these services, establishment service model,
implementation the mapping from abstract services to
physical services.
After this step, the service modeling phase of SOA-
oriented basic design is completed. We finally confirmed
the services and their operation that system construction
requirement. Next we need to design and realize the ser-
vices and their operation, development new services.
That is, design and realize the interior of services and im-
prove existing services to add manipulation.
This paper introduced the norm in the business process
analysis based on the above system analysis process and
proposed business process modeling method based on
norm .It model business process using UML and norm.
3.2. Norm
Norms is an important concept in organization semilogy.
In organization semiotics, the organization is essentially
a system composed of social actors. In order to complete
the objectives, they cooperate with each other in accor-
dance with particular norms and constraints. So the or-
ganization can be expressed by explaining the subject,
behavior and norm. The norm is generated based on the
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JSEA
Business Process Modeling Based on Norm621
specific social context and describes how to interact and
collaborate among different cultural backgrounds, diffe-
rent organizations, different departments and behavioral
actor [6].
Norm is conduct guidelines in organization and be ex-
pressed by writing or informal. It coordinates and con-
trols the behavior of the members directly or indirectly,
set the communication way.
Salter divided the norm into five parts: agent details,
the required information, triggers, actions can be taken, a
detailed norm specification. Stamper defines the expres-
sion style of norm [7]:
Whenever <conditions set> If <state set> Then
<Agent> Is <Deontic> To <action set> <conditions set>
indicates the cond itions when agent perform some action;
further instructions can use If <state set> that indicates
the state when perform some action;
<agent> refers to the responsibility agent, it may be
people or software. <deontic> including permitted, ob-
liged and prohibition, etc. Through these moral logic op-
erators, the active wishes of agent have been considered
adequately. <Action set> formulate the action set of tak-
ing in the case of conditions are met.
3.3. Business Process Modeling Method Based on
The method extract the system analysis process of 3.1
and mainly improve it in the business layer and service
layer, business process modeling.
1) Business layer business process modeling: the
problem is mainly norm acquisition and representation.
At first, for the acquisition of norm, organizational se-
miotics provides the method of norm analysis. The proc-
ess of norm analysis include: responsibility analysis, the
relevant factors analysis, trigger condition analysis and
detailed no rm description.
Take a business process modeling for instance. Repre-
sent business processes by U M L act i vi t y diag rams.
In the activity diagram, the swimming lane will group
the process by role. The swimming lanes have many diff-
erent uses, including prompt the place of the action or
indicate the role of the action. In the activity diagram, the
lane is a vertical rectangle and tho se activities that belong
in the rectangle. The top of rectangle is the name of the
corresponding organizational units or roles and activities
can be placed on the implementation of the organiza-
tional unit. Through the lane, the role-based business
process model and organizational model can be com-
bined. Then insert the norm by [#], thus the role and the
corresponding norm has clearly shown in the diagram. In
order to make business processes more flexible and va-
riable, we extract some important norm that the role co r-
responding and realize it in the process. As a result, we
can more convenient to con trol the change of the process.
Taking information publish system as example, the
core function is the member publish information. The
member publish information process diagram of based on
norm as shown in Figure 2. It is based on the current
process diagram. At the branch judge of activity diagram,
the norm is inserted by [#]. So that put the role and the
corresponding specification in the figure has clearly
shown. Moreover, according to the branch structure of
the diagram, the norm of the process can be easily extrac-
ted. The norm of the business pr ocess shown in Table 1.
2) Service layer business process modeling. There are
two steps: service discovery and service modeling.
Service discovery:
Through the above business process diagram based on
norm, according to the top-down decomposition method,
we can get the small granularity service as the candidate
process. We can also get some larger granularity services
directly from the diagram and they can be further refined
to achieve through atomic services composition [8].
Figure 2. Business proce ss diagrams based on norm.
Table 1. The norms of the business process.
Role actionProcess norms
N1: whenever the system does not check information on
Saturday and Sunday. If today is Friday. Then informa-
tion publisher is permitted to register or no.
N2: whenever submit information. If distribution ac-
count is successful. Then the process is permitted to
submit information.
N3: Whenever the userquantity is full. If the user meet
the requirement. Then the process is prohibited to dis-
tribute account.
N4: whenever the information of the site is insufficient.
If the information meet the requirement. Then informa-
tion manager is obliged to pass the checking.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JSEA
Business Process Modeling Based on Norm
a) Register service
Input parameters: user name, title, content, time, etc.
Output parameters: true/false (whether registration is su-
b) Distribution member account service
Input parameters: true/false (receive the parameter fr-
om the output parameters of the registerer service). Out-
put parameters: true/false, ID (whether the user meet the
c) Checking information service
Input parameters: title, content and time. etc.
Output parameters: true/false (whether the information
meet the requirements).
Service modeling:
At the stage of service discovery, the system conatins
what services and their function were certain. Then needs
for standardization these services and establishment ser-
vice model, implementation the mapping from abstract
services to physical services. At this stage, th e main pro -
blem is how to express the norm of the business process
diagram in the servcie model. Because norm is close to
natural language, it is ambiguous. Here, we u se the OCL
to express the norm. OCL is a formal object constraint
language. It can ensure the correctness and performabil-
ity of the norm. This is an important step in the process
of implementation information system based on norm.
Using UML to model the static structure and dynamic
business process of the service as follows:
a) Static structure modeling
We describe the static part of the web service compo-
sition including their operation name and message type
by UML class diagrams [9]. Web services are described
by a class of a stereotype with a name “Webservice”. The
operation of the class described the operation that the
service offers. The input and output message of the ser-
vices are described by the input and output parameters of
the class. The static model of the ordinary users checking
service as shown in Figure 3.
b) Dynamic business process modeling
On the basis of the above static model, we extended
UML activity diagram elements to define the control
flow and data flow . We invoke the web serv ice operation
Figure 3. The static model of the ordinary user checking
by the activity state of with the “invoke” stereotype. The
tag value of the “invoke” describes the invoked web ser-
vice and its prot type and operation. The operations are
corresponding with the operation of the static model.
The control flow is defined by the conversion and
pseudo-state (decsion, fork, join, etc.). The object flow
with the stereotype “message” expresses the message tr-
ansmission. A message object represents the output from
one operation into the next operation. These messages
correspond to the inpu t and output messages that the sta-
tic model of web services defined. The dynamic business
process modeling is show on Figure 6.
4. Case
This section take the building supply and demand infor-
mation system for agricultural as the background. It will
follow the previous research part 3 process. In this proc-
ess, the business process modeling method based on no-
rm was applied and the information checking process
was realized to verify the applicability and superiority of
this method. The following analysis of the system step by
4.1. Business Layer Business Process Modeling
Based on Norm
The core of the system processes is the members publish
information process. This section selects its subprocess
(checking information process) as an example to explain
the model process. The Figure 4 shows the activities dia-
gram of the checking information process.
Users need get the information application form, then
complete it and submit it to the checking information pr-
ocess, at last obtain the results. In the Figure 2, which is
shown the business process modeling based on Norm.
The norms of the checking business process as shown in
Table 2.
4.2. Service Layer Business Process Modeling
Based on Norm
1) Service discovery
From the business layer analysis, the domain require-
Figure 4. Checking information business process diagrams.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JSEA
Business Process Modeling Based on Norm623
Table 2. the norms of the checking business process.
action Its norms
A1: Whenever the information quantity of the site is full.I
application information is completely. Then checking proc-
ess is permitted to publish or reject.
Whenever the information quantity of the site is full. I
application information is completely. Then checking proc-
ess is obliged to wait for the i n f o r mation.
A2: whenever The information quantity of the site is norm al.
If application infor mation meet the requirement ; the category
of user is agriculture bureau. Then checking process is
obliged to agriculture bureau checking service.
Whenever the information quantity of the site is normal. I
application information meet the requirement; the category
of user is ordinary user. Then checking process is obliged to
ordinary user checking service.
Whenever the information quantity of the site is normal. I
the category of user have some errors. Then checking proc-
ess is obliged to other cases process service.
A3: whenever ordinary user checking If the category o
information is fruit. Then checking process is obliged to
ordinary user publish service.
A4: whenever agriculture bureau checking. If the category o
information is Vegetables. Then checking processis obliged
to particular user publish service.
ments can better be shown in the business process based
on Norm.
In the demo process, it was divided into some smaller
processes. We can break out all candidate services. Here,
we select a small part as follows:
a) Checking process service
Input parameters: username, title, content, time, etc.
Output parameters: true/false (Whether the informa-
tion is published).
b) Ordinary user checking process service
Input parameters: username,
Output parameters: true/false (Whether the user meets
the requirements).
c) Ordinary publishes servi ce
Input parameters: title, content, time, etc.
Output parameters: true/false (Whether the information is
2) Buildin g se r vi ce lay e r business process model
The above services statically structural models and
dynamic model are shown as follows.
a) Static structure model
The static model of ordinary user checking service and
ordinary publishing as shown in Figure 5.
To avoid repeated, the static service model is to select
to show the analysis result. In the model, Norm would be
expressed by OCL in the detail.
b) Service dynamic model
Fellow the previous analysis, service dynamic model
as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 5. Service static modeling.
messageApplicatorinfor: c h eckmember
invokecheckmem ber Ser vice C h ec k
Member Service / checkmember
messageConfirmation: ch eckmemresponse
invokecheckinfor Checkin f o r Servi ce
/ checkin f or
: checkinfor
Figure 6. User checking service.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JSEA
Business Process Modeling Based on Norm
4.3. Implement Business Process
To demonstrate the results of the analysis, We orches-
trate the services to achieve specific business functions
by BPEL software. Following the ordinary user checking
information process are as an example:
1) Develop related services. User checking service; in-
formation checking service, services test page as shown
Figures 7 and 8.
2) The implementation of the checking information pr-
ocess: If relevant services are ready, we can design the
bpel processes. We can use the method of semantic web
service composition to compose users’ subjective ser-
vices from the user requirements [10]. The process gen-
erally divided into the following steps:
Establish partner links
Set variables that service calling required
BPEL process de si gn
Deployment and testing process
BPEL process design diagram and process test dia-
gram are as follows Figures 9 and 10.
Figure 7. User checking service.
Figure 8. Information checking service.
Figure 9. BPEL process diagram.
Figure 10. BPEL process test diagram.
5. Conclusions
This paper focus on improving enterprise information sy-
stems flexibility, adaptability an d scalability and the que-
stion on business process modeling. Propose a business
process modeling method based on Norm. From the bu-
siness layer, we increase the analysis contents and use
Norm to express for increasing the system semantic.
Then use normal requires tools to translate Norm to OCL.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JSEA
Business Process Modeling Based on Norm
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. JSEA
Finally, we illustrate the result with BPEL tools. The
research purpose is to use Norm increase the semantic of
system model, and enable information systems in busi-
ness process modeling stage to be able to fully express
their business requirement, eliminate ambiguity, making
the software system more flexible to adapt to business
6. Acknowledgements
This research is supported by Natural Science Founda-
tion of China (No. 709 61007), the 2011 scien tific and te-
chnological projects of Ningxia (Ningxia Local Govern-
ment Debt Risk Early Warning and Strategy).
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