Seminar E-Business HT 2008


2008-10-06: Web page set up

Learning Goal

In this seminar, students will develop an in-depth understanding of the role of semantics in business process management. We will analyze existing approaches of using ontologies and ontological analysis in information systems research, evaluate the practical impact, and identify open research issues.


Kick-off Meeting

Monday, October 6, 2008, 6.15 - 7.45 p.m., room 36/1134

Introduction to Academic Writing

Monday, October 13, 2008, 6.15 - 7.45 p.m., room 36/1134

Student Papers Due

Monday, December 8, 2008, 6.15 p.m.

Final Presentations

December 15, 2008, 6.15 p.m. - 8.00 p.m.

Instructions and Grading

You have to (1) submit an overview paper of 16-18 pages in Springer LNCS formatting and (2) give a presentation of 30 minutes (ca. 12-18 slides). Both the paper and the presentation must be submitted as PDF files to no later than December 8, 2008.

For guidance on how to write a paper, see []<>. Since the task is to write an overview paper, the necessary sections and structure can be modified as needed.

Your paper should be

  • a concise summary of the state of the art in the respective fields, and
  • discuss the main open issues.

As for the presentation: Please submit your presentation either as PowerPoint or PDF (one slide per page!).


Finding Relevant Literature

A core part of any scholarly work is getting hold of related work by others. In this section you will find some hints on how to get hold of scientific publications.

1. Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)

Most University libraries provide electronic access to several journals and conference proceedings free of charge, as long as you are logged into the University network (i.e., if you work from home, you need to connect to the campus network using a VPN). This almost always includes full-text access to Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS).

You can reach the list of journals for computer science at <> and for business management and economics at <>
The general page for our University is<>.

2. ACM Journals, ACM Conference, and ACM Workshop Proceedings


You can access all ACM journals and conference/workshop proceedings using the ACM Digital library at <>.
You need a log-in for that, since it is subscription service.

3. IEEE Journals, IEEE Conference, and IEEE Workshop Proceedings
From the campus network you have access to all journal publications via <> starting 1998. Earlier journal publications and conference publications do not fall under the university's subscription. You can also use a personal IEEE account and access <> directly.
4. German Magazine "Wirtschaftsinformatik"
Go to <>
Then select "Archiv" -> "Chronologisch"; locate the article and use your GI membership credentials for accessing the PDF.
5. Inter-library Loan\
You can also order copies (and maybe digital versions) via the University interlibrary loan.
This may create cost, but within reasonable amounts.
6. Subito-Doc
You can order digital copies (often scans) of ANY paper that is available in at least one German library for 5 EUR per paper at SUBITO DOC: <>.
You need to register first. Most students and researchers are "Mitarbeiter/in einer Hochschule" (Kundengruppe 1 - the cheapest fees!). Complete the registration form and make sure that the delivery type ("Lieferart") is set to "e-mail". This is cheaper and you will get a PDF automatically. It may take between 2 days and 3 weeks until the paper will arrive, but for that wait they will really try hard to get the paper. Be sure that you specify the paper in sufficient detail (e.g. Journal name, pages, volume, issue, ...)
7. Ask the author!
Alternatively, you can always try to find the author on the Web (works for most scholars) and request the Camera-ready basis of his or her paper by e-mail.

General Structure of a Research Paper

A guaranteed way to fail with a paper is to follow the paper style "In this paper, I tell you some selected thoughts about something".
Researchers read research papers not because they are interested in what you think (unless you are a famous visionary), but because your validated findings help them make progress in their work. Student and term papers are often meant to train mainly the skill of reviewing related work. In such a case, some sections are not relevant.
This is why the following structure should be followed:

1 Introduction
What is the problem?
Why is it important? (Relevance of the problem in research or economic terms)
How does this problem relate to the general state of the art in the research community?
Optional for Term Paper:What is your exact contribution?
2 Methodology (Optional for Term Paper)\
How do you come up with your propoposal? (You should follow a rationale when building any proposal for a new solution)
How will you measure the quality of your proposal (define metrics for the evaluation)
3 My Proposal (Optional for Term Paper)\
In here, describe your solution to the problem. Start with an overview of the general idea. Clearly separate conceptual issues from implementation aspects.
4 Evaluation / Findings (Optional for Term Paper)
In here, you describe what happens when you apply your proposal to the problem. This should especially contain the results of measuring your proposal using the metrics defined in section 2. Highlight suprising findings in here, but do not discuss their implications. That's in the next section.
5 Discussion
Discuss whether your proposal has solved the problem in a convincing manner, use the data from section 4 to substantiate your argument. Point to strengths and weaknesses, discuss what you have solved and what remains unknown.
6 Conclusion
Summarize what you have shown ("In this paper we have shown that drinking water from the tap reduces energy consumption during ontology engineering by, on average, 50 %. We have proposed a new methodoloy for .… ")

Topics and Materials

Important: The given references are ONLY first pointers to relevant literature. Use those to carry out a proper search for related literature! It is not sufficient to just take into account the explicitly listed papers. Also check

   * the Web pages of authors of listed papers,
   * the references in the given papers, and
   * the proceedings of ESWC, ISWC, BPM, and ER conferences.

4. Enterprise Ontology (Student: Deckert)
   * Dietz, J. L. G. (2006). Enterprise Ontology. Berlin / Heidelberg, Springer.
   * Fox, M. S. and M. Gruninger (1997). On Ontologies and Enterprise Modelling. International Conference on Enterprise Integration Modelling Technology (ICEIMT '97), Torino, Italy, Springer.
* Uschold, M., M. King, et al. (1998). "The Enterprise Ontology." The Knowledge Engineering Review 13(1): 31-89.
 9. The Conceptual Model of ARIS(Student: Karl)''''''

   * Scheer, A.-W. (2000). ARIS - Business Process Modeling. Berlin etc., Springer.

   * Keller, G., M. Nüttgens, et al. (1991). Semantische Prozessmodellierung auf der Grundlage "Ereignisgesteuerter Prozessketten (EPK)". Veröffentlichung des Instituts für Wirtschaftsinformatik. Saarbrücken.
   * Mendling, J. and M. Nüttgens (2005). EPC Markup Language (EPML). Vienna, Vienna University of Economis and Business Administration.
   * Scheer, A.-W. (2000). ARIS - Business Process Modeling. Berlin etc., Springer.
   * Simon, C. and J. Mendling (2007). Integration of Conceptual Process Models by the Example of Event-driven Process Chains. 8th international conference Wirtschaftsinformatik 2007, Karlsruhe, Universitaetsverlag Karlsruhe.

12. SAP Business by Design: Philosophy and Architecture (Student: Schley)

Unassigned Topics

1. Ontologies for Business Processes: From TOVE to SUPER Ontologies for Organisational Aspects of Enterprises

   * TOVE Ontology Project
   * Hepp, M. and D. Roman (2007). An Ontology Framework for Semantic Business Process Management. 8th International Conference Wirtschaftsinformatik 2007, Karlsruhe, Universitaetsverlag Karlsruhe.
   * SUPER D1.1 Deliverable
   * Andersson, B., M. Bergholtz, et al. (2006). Towards a Reference Ontology for Business Models. 25th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER2006) Tucson, Arizona, USA, Springer.
2. Ontological Analysis of Information Systems

   * Weber, R. (1997). Ontological Foundations of Information Systems. Melbourne, Australia, Coopers & Lybrand and the Accounting Association of Australia and New Zealand.
3. The REA Ontology: Initial Approach and Current Efforts

  • McCarthy, W. E. (1982). "The REA Accounting Model: A Generalized Framework for Accounting Systems in a Shared Data Environment." The Accounting Review LVII(3): 554-578.
    * Gailly, F. and G. Poels (2007). Towards Ontology-Driven Information Systems: Redesign and Formalization of the REA Ontology. 10th International Conference on Business Information Systems (BIS 2007), Poznan, Poland, Springer.
    * Andersson, B., M. Bergholtz, et al. (2006). Towards a Reference Ontology for Business Models. 25th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER2006) Tucson, Arizona, USA, Springer.

5. Declarative Process Modeling

   * van der Aalst, W. M. P. and M. Pesic (2006). DecSerFlow: Towards a Truly Declarative Service Flow Language. BPM Center Technical Report.
6. Process Mining

  • Agrawal, R., D. Gunopulos, et al. (1998). Mining process models from workflow logs. Intl. Conf. on Extending Database Technology (EDBT'98), Valencia, Spain.
    * Greco, G., A. Guzzo, et al. (2005). "Mining and Reasoning on Workflows." IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering 17(4): 519-534.
    * Jansen-Vullers, M. H., W. M. P. van der Aalst, et al. (2006). "Mining configurable enterprise information systems." Data & Knowledge Engineering (forthcoming).
    * van der Aalst, W. M. P., B. F. van Dongen, et al. (2003). "Workflow mining: A survey of issues and approaches." Data & Knowledge Engineering 47: 237-267.

7. Web 2.0 Approaches in Business Process Management

   * as a starting point :-)
 9. The Conceptual Model of ARIS

   * Scheer, A.-W. (2000). ARIS - Business Process Modeling. Berlin etc., Springer.
10. The e3Value Ontology

   * Gordijn, J. and H. Akkermans (2001). "Designing and Evaluating E-Business Models." IEEE Intelligent Systems 16(4): 11-17.
   * e3value home page
11. Business Process Modeling: Complexity vs. Community Size

   * Michael zur Muehlen, Jan Recker: “How Much Language is Enough? Theoretical and Practical Use of the Business Process Modeling Notation”, 20th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAiSE 2008), Montpellier, France, June 16-20, 2008., Springer LNCS.
* Hepp, M. (2007). "Possible Ontologies: How Reality Constrains the Development of Relevant Ontologies." IEEE Internet Computing 11(7): 90-96.