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Method for simulating parallel multiple instances of a process activity

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124823D
Original Publication Date: 2005-May-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-May-09
Document File: 1 page(s) / 20K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

The simulation of an activity modeled within a business process represents a single instance that can be active at a time within a process. Therefore, the operation of running multiple instances of the same activity requires each instance to be explicitly modeled within the business process. Further, given all these instances depend on identical resource types and associated with one or more activities in the same process, it becomes unnecessarily complex from a modeling perspective to model parallel executions of a single activity within a process and requires structural changes to the process diagram to represent.

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Method for simulating parallel multiple instances of a process activity

The ability to model a single activity within a business process and simulate multiple instances of this activity for a given process is described below. This ability permits the user to increase the instances of the activity and consume resources without restructuring or modifying the business process model. For example, using the present publication to simulate five teller stations within a bank to process transactions can be modeled by explictly specifying one teller station with an '# instances' simulation attribute of five. Additional simulations can be performed where the number of teller stations is changed (e.g. increased by ten) simply by changing the '# instances' attribute for the given activity and not graphically drawn within a process diagram . Alternatively, an unlimited number of instances can be specified as the maximum.

The present publication uses a grahical interface that allows the user to specify the maximum number of instances (simulation attribute) for a given activity. At simulation time, when an activity within the process diagram needs to be executed, the current active number of instances for the given activity (engine context) is compared to the user-supplied maximum (simulation attribute). If the maximum number of instances has already been created, then the new activity is queued until a prior instance completes (based on activity duration, resources contention...