Specification and Verification of Declarative Open Interaction Models – A Logic-based framework

By Marco Montali,
Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
April 2009


The advent of distributed and heterogeneous systems has laid the foundation for the birth of new architectural paradigms, in which many separated and autonomous entities collaborate and interact to the aim of achieving complex strategic goals, impossible to be accomplished on their own. A non exhaustive list of systems targeted by such paradigms includes Business Process Management, Clinical Guidelines and Careflow Protocols, Service-Oriented and Multi-Agent Systems. It is largely recognized that engineering these systems requires novel modeling techniques. In particular, many authors are claiming that an open, declarative perspective is needed to complement the closed, procedural nature of the state of the art specification languages. For example, the ConDec language has been recently proposed to target the declarative and open specification of Business Processes, overcoming the over-specification and over-constraining issues of classical procedural approaches. On the one hand, the success of such novel modeling languages strongly depends on their usability by non-IT savvy: they must provide an appealing, intuitive graphical front-end. On the other hand, they must be prone to verification, in order to guarantee the trustworthiness and reliability of the developed model, as well as to ensure that the actual executions of the system effectively comply with it. In this dissertation, we claim that Computational Logic is a suitable framework for dealing with the specification, verification, execution, monitoring and analysis of these systems. We propose to adopt an extended version of the ConDec language for specifying interaction models with a declarative, open flavor. We show how all the (extended) ConDec constructs can be automatically translated to the CLIMB Computational Logic-based language, and illustrate how its corresponding reasoning techniques can be successfully exploited to provide support and verification capabilities along the whole life cycle of the targeted systems.