Beyond Process Modelling Languages: A Metamodelling Approach to Customizable Concepts and Enactability in MetaCASE

Abstract: MetaCASE environments are emerging with support for method engineering and methods’ use. In this scope, also the importance of process engineering has been recognized and the research on methodical process support has started to seek appropriate forms. One of the problems faced in process support customization is the increasing variety of process modelling techniques and methods with extremely varying philosophical and conceptual approaches. Yet none of these approaches may be claimed superior of inferior to others in general. Since metaCASE environments should be designed to support a wide range of arbitrary methods, the conceptual coverage of process modelling language (PML) supported by a metaCASE environment needs to be exceptionally wide. In the thesis we claim that mechanisms for defining and modifying PMLs with different underlying orientations and conceptual foundations need to be developed in metaCASE environments.

The main objective of the thesis is to investigate the possibility to apply metamodelling principles in defining situational process modelling languages for automated process support in metaCASE. The research questions addressed are

  1. what alternatives there are for process support customization in existing process support environments and to what extend the solutions could be applied in metaCASE,
  2. what concepts and tools are needed to define customizable PMLs and how they can be implemented in MetaEdit+, and
  3. what kind of process enaction mechanisms are needed for the concepts and how they can be implemented in MetaEdit+.

The proposed approach is further evaluated through defining an example PML. The research method is therefore constructive and the questions are addressed through an incremental and iterative cycle of theory building, system development, and experimentation.

Reference: Koskinen, M. (1997). Beyond Process Modelling Languages: A Metamodelling Approach to Customizable Concepts and Enactability in MetaCASE. Proceedings of the 4th Doctoral Consortium on Advanced Information Systems Engineering, Barcelonia, Catalonia.

Available online: 1997-CAiSEDC.pdf