Process synchronization in Workflow Management Systems

G. Alonso, D. Agrawal, A. El Abbadi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

24 Citations (Scopus)


Workflow Management Systems automate the execution of business processes allowing the concurrent execution of multiple process instances. Existing systems do not provide a mechanism to guarantee correct concurrent execution and, as a result, it is not possible to coordinate and synchronize different process instances. Part of the problem is that conventional techniques are not entirely suitable for workflow environments. In databases, locks are the basic mechanism. In operating systems, this is achieved using semaphores or monitors. Neither of these approaches is appropriate for workflow applications. In this paper a method is proposed to enforce correct interleavings and guarantee mutual exclusion, as defined by the user, between concurrent workflow processes. The proposed protocol takes advantage of the semantic constructs associated with workflow management to solve some complex problems like dealing with inherited restrictions and the coarse granularity of workflow specifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-588
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Processing - Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 8th IEEE Symposium on Parallel and Distributed Processing - New Orleans, LA, USA
Duration: 23 Oct 199626 Oct 1996


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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