This paper emphasizes the importance of defining processes rigorously, completely, clearly, and in detail in order to support the complex projects that are essential to the modern world. The paper argues that such process definitions provide needed structure and context for the development of effective software systems. The centrality of process is argued by enumerating seven key ways in which processes and their definitions are expected to provide important benefits to society. The paper provides an example of a process formalism that makes good progress towards the difficult goal of being simultaneously rigorous, detailed, broad, and clear. Early experience suggests that these four key characteristics of this formalism do indeed seem to help it to support meeting the seven key benefits sought from process definitions. Additional research is suggested in order to gain more insights into needs in the area of process definition formalisms.
This material is based upon the work supported by the US National Science Foundation under Award Nos. CCR-0427071, CCR-0204321 and CCR-0205575. The views and conclusions contained herein are those of the author and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the National Science Foundation, or the U.S. Government.
Cite this article:
Leon J. Osterweil, Fellow, ACM, Member, IEEE.Formalisms to Support the Definition of Processes[J] Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 2009,V24(2): 198-211
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