In his dissertation, Jussi Vanhatalo presents a decomposition technique for business process models. This research has already received both academic and industrial recognition.
A workflow graph is a model for the control flow of a business process. In his thesis, Jussi Vanhatalo studies the problem of workflow graph parsing, that is, finding the structure of a workflow graph. More precisely, parsing decomposes a workflow graph into a hierarchy of sub-workflows that are subgraphs with a single entry and a single exit of control. Such a decomposition is the crucial step, for example, to translate a process modeled in a graph-based language such as Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) into a process modeled in a more structured language such as Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL). For this and other applications, it is desirable that the decomposition be unique, modular and as fine-grained as possible, where modular means that a local change of the workflow graph can only cause a local change of the decomposition. This thesis presents a decomposition that is unique, modular and more fine-grained than in previous work. The decomposition is called the refined process structure tree. It is based on and extends similar work for sequential programs by Tarjan and Valdes [ACM POPL ’80, 1980, pp. 95-105]. The refined process structure tree was introduced in a research paper  that received the best paper award of the 6th International Conference on Business Process Management.
The refined process structure tree is already adopted in commercial software products. The decomposition technique is implemented in the IBM WebSphere software products, where it is used, for instance, to speed up control-flow analysis of a process model. The decomposition is also useful in many other applications, such as, refactoring a process model, comparing and merging process models, and pattern-based editing of process models.
Jussi Vanhatalo successfully defended his thesis at University of Stuttgart in July 2009.
Reviewed papers in journals and proceedings
(17) Jussi Vanhatalo. Process structure trees: Decomposing a business process model into a hierarchy of single-entry-single-exit fragments. PhD thesis. University of Stuttgart, Germany. (To appear)
(16) Jussi Vanhatalo, Hagen Völzer, Jana Koehler. The refined process structure tree. Data & Knowledge Engineering (DKE) journal, vol. 68, issue 9, pp. 793-818. Elsevier, September 2009.
(15) Jussi Vanhatalo, Hagen Völzer, Frank Leymann, Simon Moser.Automatic workflow graph refactoring and completion. In Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Service-Oriented Computing (ICSOC 2008). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 5364, pp. 100-115. Springer, December 2008.
(14) Jussi Vanhatalo, Hagen Völzer, Jana Koehler. The refined process structure tree. In Proceedings of 6th International Conference on Business Process Management (BPM 2008). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 5240, pp. 100-115. Springer, September 2008. (Received the Best Paper Award of the conference)
(13) Rainer Hauser, Michael Friess, Jochen Küster, Jussi Vanhatalo. An incremental approach to the analysis and transformation of workflows using region trees. In IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, vol. 38, issue 3, pp. 347-359. IEEE, May 2008.
(12) Jana Koehler, Thomas Gschwind, Jochen Küster, Cesare Pautasso, Ksenia Ryndina, Jussi Vanhatalo, Hagen Völzer. Combining quality assurance and model transformations in business-driven development. In Proceedings of 3rd International Symposium on Applications of Graph Transformations with Industrial Relevance (AGTIVE 2007). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 5088, pp. 1-16. Springer, October 2007.
(11) Jussi Vanhatalo, Hagen Völzer, Frank Leymann. Faster and more focused control-flow analysis for business process models though SESE decomposition. In Proceedings of 5th International Conference on Service-Oriented Computing (ICSOC 2007). Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 4749, pp. 43-55. Springer, September 2007.
(10) Jana Koehler, Jussi Vanhatalo. Process anti-patterns: How to avoid the common traps of business process modeling, part 2 modeling data flow. IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal, issue 10.4. April 2007.
(9) Jana Koehler, Jussi Vanhatalo. Process anti-patterns: How to avoid the common traps of business process modeling, part 1 modeling control flow. IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal, issue 10.2. February 2007.
(8) Rainer Hauser, Michael Friess, Jochen Küster, Jussi Vanhatalo. Combining analysis of unstructured workflows with transformation to structured workflows. In Proceedings of the 10th IEEE International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference (EDOC'06), pp. 129-140. IEEE Computer Society, 2006.
(7) Jussi Vanhatalo, Jana Koehler, Frank Leymann. Repository for business processes and arbitrary associated metadata. In Proceedings of the BPM Demo Session at the Fourth International Conference on Business Process Management (BPM 2006). CEUR Workshop Proceedings, vol. 203, pp. 25-31. September 2006.
(6) Jana Koehler, Rainer Hauser, Jochen Küster, Ksenia Ryndina, Jussi Vanhatalo, Michael Wahler.The role of visual modeling and model transformations in business-driven development. In Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Graph Transformation and Visual Modeling Techniques (GT-VMT 2006). Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, vol. 211, pp. 5-15. Elsevier, April 2008.
(5) Biplav Srivastava, Jussi Vanhatalo, Jana Koehler. Managing the life cycle of plans. In Proceedings of the 17th Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI 2005), pp. 1569-1575. AAAI Press, July 2005.
(4) Jussi Vanhatalo. Techniques for Business-Driven Development. In Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings 06291 Abstracts Collection – The Role of Business Processes in Service-Oriented Architectures, pp. 24, ISSN: 1862-4405. IBFI, Schloss Dagstuhl, July 2006.
(3) Jussi Vanhatalo. BPEL Repository. Software & user guide, IBM alphaWorks. April 2006.
(2) Jochen Küster, Jana Koehler, Rainer Hauser, Ksenia Ryndina, Jussi Vanhatalo, Michael Wahler. Methodology and tooling to combine an existing legacy business process model with best-practice industry reference models for business transformation. IBM Research Report, RZ 3663, 2006.
(1) Jussi Vanhatalo. Building and querying a repository of BPEL process specifications. Master’s thesis, Helsinki University of Technology, Institute Eurecom and University of Nice – Sophia Antipolis, September 2004. Also available as IBM Research Report, RZ 3582, 2005.
- Program committee member of the 1st International Workshop on BPMN (BPMN 2009).
- Program committee member of the 1st Workshop on Architecture, Design, an and Implementation of the Semantic Desktop @ ESWC2007. (SemDesk Design 2007).
- Reviewer of the 4th IEEE European Conference on Web Services (ECOWS 2006).
- Program committee member of the Demo Session of the 1st Asian Semantic Web Conference (ASWC 2006).