An Alternative Way to Analyze Workflow Graphs

  • W. M. P. van der Aalst
  • A. Hirnschall
  • H. M. W. Verbeek
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2348)


At the CAiSE conference in Heidelberg in 1999, Wasim Sadiq and Maria Orlowska presented an algorithm to verify workflow graphs [19]. The algorithm uses a set of reduction rules to detect structural conflicts. This paper shows that the set of reduction rules presented in [19] is not complete and proposes an alternative algorithm. The algorithm translates workflow graphs into so-called WF-nets. WF-nets are a class of Petri nets tailored towards workflow analysis. As a result, Petri-net theory and tools can be used to verify workflow graphs. In particular, our workflow verification tool Woflan [21] can be used to detect design errors. It is shown that the absence of structural conflicts, i.e., deadlocks and lack of synchronization, conforms to soundness of the corresponding WF-net [2]. In contrast to the algorithm presented in [19], the algorithm presented in this paper is complete. Moreover, the complexity of this alternative algorithm is given.


Output Node Input Node Reduction Rule Input Place Rank Theorem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. M. P. van der Aalst
    • 1
  • A. Hirnschall
    • 1
  • H. M. W. Verbeek
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Technology and Management Department of Information and TechnologyEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

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