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Modeling languages for business processes and business rules: A representational analysis

Information Systems
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/
  • Business Process Modeling
  • Business Rule Modeling
  • Business Process Management
  • Representation Theory
  • Bww
  • Bpmn
  • Sbvr
  • Prr
  • Srml
  • Swrl


Abstract Process modeling and rule modeling languages are both used to document organizational policies and procedures. To date, their synergies and overlap are under-researched. Understanding the relationship between the two modeling types would allow organizations to maximize synergies, avoid content duplication, and thus reduce their overall modeling effort. In this paper, we use the Bunge–Wand–Weber (BWW) representation theory to compare the representation capabilities of process and rule modeling languages. We perform a representational analysis of four rule modeling specifications: The Simple Rule Markup Language (SRML), the Semantic Web Rules Language (SWRL), the Production Rule Representation (PRR), and the Semantics of Business Vocabulary and Business Rules (SBVR) specification. We compare their BWW representation capabilities with those of four popular conceptual process modeling languages. In our analysis, we focus on the aspects of maximum ontological completeness and minimum ontological overlap. The outcome of this study shows that no single language is internally complete with respect to the BWW representation model. We also show that a combination of two languages, in particular SRML and BPMN, appears to be better suited for combined process and rule modeling than any of these modeling languages used independently.

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