Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor's Name

Peter J. Clarke

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Armando Barreto

Third Advisor's Name

Vagelis Hristidis

Fourth Advisor's Name

Xudong He

Fifth Advisor's Name

S. Masoud Sadjadi

Keywords

Domain-Specific Modeling, User-Centric Communication, Workflows

Date of Defense

7-13-2011

Abstract

Rapid advances in electronic communication devices and technologies have resulted in a shift in the way communication applications are being developed. These new development strategies provide abstract views of the underlying communication technologies and lead to the so-called user-centric communication applications. One user-centric communication (UCC) initiative is the Communication Virtual Machine (CVM) technology, which uses the Communication Modeling Language (CML) for modeling communication services and the CVM for realizing these services. In communication-intensive domains such as telemedicine and disaster management, there is an increasing need for user-centric communication applications that are domain-specific and that support the dynamic coordination of communication services commonly found in collaborative communication scenarios. However, UCC approaches like the CVM offer little support for the dynamic coordination of communication services resulting from inherent dependencies between individual steps of a collaboration task. Users either have to manually coordinate communication services, or reply on a process modeling technique to build customized solutions for services in a specific domain that are usually costly, rigidly defined and technology specific.

This dissertation proposes a domain-specific modeling approach to address this problem by extending the CVM technology with communication-specific abstractions of workflow concepts commonly found in business processes. The extension involves (1) the definition of the Workflow Communication Modeling Language (WF-CML), a superset of CML, and (2) the extension of the functionality of CVM to process communication-specific workflows. The definition of WF-CML includes the metamodel and the dynamic semantics for control constructs and concurrency. We also extended the CVM prototype to handle the modeling and realization of WF-CML models. A comparative study of the proposed approach with other workflow environments validates the claimed benefits of WF-CML and CVM.

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