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User defined expression and evaluators for simulation of business processes

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000127278D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Aug-19
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Aug-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 74K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

User defined expression and evaluators for simulation of business processes

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User defined expression and evaluators for simulation of business processes

Conventional business process simulation systems are limited to probabilistic simulations with little or no support for algorithmic flow controls. Conversely, systems which do support algorithmic flow controls are usually supplied as toolkits or libraries to be used by applications developers for some language platform or are themselves a programming language (e.g. GPSS, SIMULA-67, etc). Still other systems (e.g. Holosofx ® ) provide dual modes - one for probabalistic simulations and one for controlled flow simulations. The objective is to provide an integrated system that supports both probabilistic and deterministic simulation on the same process and allow the author of the process to specify when, where and how deterministic control is to be applied.

     This publication describes a simulation engine capability which supports fully integrated probabilistic and expression control mechanisms. The latter, however, is not limited to flow control but may also be used to query and control the simulation environment and as an escape mechanism to access external components. An application of this invention is the support of conditional branching based on the results of an expression that is necessary for advanced simulation.

     The requirement is to specify and evaluate an expression in a general way within processes. The processes may be business processes, IT level processes or low-level technical processes. In order to accomodate such a wide spectrum of detail requirements, the simulation engine provides a callout mechanism designed to allow the user to override key functions of the engine with user-supplied expression evaluators. Expressions are optional but when they are used they are tagged to the descriptions of some corresponding object in the process (e.g. a task, a port or a port set, etc). Neither the language of the expressions (the syntax and semantics) nor the representation (strings or other types of objects) are defined or constrained by the engine. Instead, the simulation engine defines an interface into which an expression evaluator can be plugged. For example, an implemenation may provide an external expression evaluator based on XPath where the expressions them...