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THE APPLICATION OF PETRI NETS TO WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT

    Workflow management promises a new solution to an age-old problem: controlling, monitoring, optimizing and supporting business processes. What is new about workflow management is the explicit representation of the business process logic which allows for computerized support. This paper discusses the use of Petri nets in the context of workflow management. Petri nets are an established tool for modeling and analyzing processes. On the one hand, Petri nets can be used as a design language for the specification of complex workflows. On the other hand, Petri net theory provides for powerful analysis techniques which can be used to verify the correctness of workflow procedures. This paper introduces workflow management as an application domain for Petri nets, presents state-of-the-art results with respect to the verification of workflows, and highlights some Petri-net-based workflow tools.