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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H006826/1
Title: A Web Business Process Optimiser
Principal Investigator: Tiwari, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Ball, Professor PD
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Applied Sciences
Organisation: Cranfield University
Scheme: Follow on Fund
Starts: 23 March 2010 Ends: 22 March 2011 Value (£): 96,840
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Manufact. Enterprise Ops& Mgmt
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 May 2009 Follow on Fund 6 Panel (TECH) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Business process optimisation is the automated improvement of business processes using pre-specified measures of performance (criteria). The importance of business process optimisation lies in its ability to (re-)design a business process based on quantitative evaluation criteria. This concept stresses the need to generate alternative business process designs based on the given process requirements, and quantitatively evaluate and compare these designs. One of the latest trends in business process composition and optimisation is the use of web services as the structural elements for constructing a business process.A web service is a discretely defined set of contiguous and autonomous business or technical functionalities implemented over a network. This concept is in-line with the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) concept that is already popular within the service industry. The technique outlined in this proposal can compose web business processes (i.e. business processes composed of web services) using evolutionary optimisation algorithms. The use of evolutionary optimisation algorithms facilitates the composition of a population of optimised business process designs (based on given criteria) using a library of web services that are available on-line. The composed designs incorporate business process patterns such as OR, LOOP and AND that are frequently encountered in real-life business processes. The functionality of the proposed technique can provide significant benefits to any service-based organisation that seeks to shift its operations over a (local or extended) network and improve the functionality, responsiveness, efficiency and cost of the internal and external business processes. The proposed technique can also deal with on-line collaborative business processes between different organisations; this is also a recent and popular trend among service providers.The aim of the proposed project is to develop a commercially exploitable software tool for optimising web business processes. To achieve this aim, the following objectives will be realised:- Develop further the business process optimisation framework, created in the EPSRC project 'Intelligent Decision Support for Process Re-design and Conformance' (Intelli-Process, grant no. EP/C54899X/1), to address a range of web business processes using optimisation algorithms.- Develop further the business process optimisation pre-prototype, created in the EPSRC Intelli-Process project, to a comprehensive 'web business process optimiser' software tool with an interactive graphical user interface.- Develop a library of web services for providing the key functionalities required by a typical business process.- Develop a search facility that can update the library of web services in real-time as the 'web business process optimiser' is executed.- Test the software tool within a real-world service sector industrial environment and harden it to a prototype standard.- Further research and analyse the market for comparable optimisation tools (including customer and competitor surveys).
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/sas/decisionengineering/research/projects/wbpo.html
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk