Privacy-Preserving Behavioral Correctness Verification of Cross-Organizational Workflow with Task Synchronization Patterns

Cong Liu, Qingtian Zeng, Long Cheng, Hua Duan, Mengchu Zhou, Jiujun Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Workflow management technology has become a key means to improve enterprise productivity. More and more workflow systems are crossing organizational boundaries and may involve multiple interacting organizations. This article focuses on a type of loosely coupled workflow architecture with collaborative tasks, i.e., each business partner owns its private business process and is able to operate independently, and all involved organizations need to be synchronized at a certain point to complete certain public tasks. Because of each organization's privacy consideration, they are unwilling to share the business details with others. In this way, traditional correctness verification approaches via reachability analysis are not practical as a global business process model is unavailable for privacy preservation. To ensure its globally correct execution, this work establishes a correctness verification approach for the cross-organizational workflow with task synchronization patterns. Its core idea is to use local correctness of each suborganizational workflow process to guarantee its global correctness. We prove that the proposed approach can be used to investigate the behavioral property preservation when synthesizing suborganizational workflows via collaborative tasks. A medical diagnosis running case is used to illustrate the applicability of the proposed approaches. Note to Practitioners - Cross-organizational workflow verification techniques play an increasingly important role in ensuring the correct execution of collaborative enterprise businesses. This work addresses the issue of correctness verification for loosely coupled interactive workflows with collaborative tasks. To ensure the globally correct execution, a behavioral correctness verification approach is established. All proposed concepts and techniques are supported by open-source tools, and evaluation over a medical diagnosis process case has shown their applicability. The proposed methodology is readily applicable to industrial-size workflow correctness verification problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9108605
Pages (from-to)1037-1048
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Behavioral correctness verification
  • Petri nets
  • business privacy preservation
  • cross-organizational workflow
  • discrete event systems
  • task synchronization pattern


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