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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2014, Article ID 825313, 14 pages
Research Article

Confusion Analysis and Detection for Workflow Nets

School of Electro-Mechanical Engineering, Xidian University, Xi’an 710071, China

Received 11 January 2014; Revised 29 March 2014; Accepted 30 March 2014; Published 7 May 2014

Academic Editor: Victor S. Kozyakin

Copyright © 2014 Xiao-liang Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Option processes often occur in a business procedure with respect to resource competition. In a business procedure modeled with a workflow net (WF-net), all decision behavior and option operations for business tasks are modeled and performed by the conflicts in corresponding WF-net. Concurrency in WF-nets is applied to keep a high-performance operation of business procedures. However, the firing of concurrent transitions in a WF-net may lead to the disappearance of conflicts in the WF-net. The phenomenon is usually called confusions that produces difficulties for the resolution of conflicts. This paper investigates confusion detection problems in WF-nets. First, confusions are formalized as a class of marked subnets with special conflicting and concurrent features. Second, a detection approach based on the characteristics of confusion subnets and the integer linear programming (ILP) is developed, which is not required to compute the reachability graph of a WF-net. Examples of the confusion detection in WF-nets are presented. Finally, the impact of confusions on the properties of WF-nets is specified.