Technical Reports


Modelling Composite Document Behaviours with Concurrent Hierarchical State-Machines

Battle, Steven; Balinsky, Helen
HP Laboratories


Keyword(s): composite document, business process, concurrent hierarchical state machine

Abstract: This paper addresses the need for a modular approach to document composition and lifecycle, enabling mixed content to be used and re-used within documents. Each content item may bring with it its own workflow. Documents are conventionally considered to be the passive subjects of workflow, but when a document presents a complex mix of components it becomes harder for a centralized workflow to cater for this variety of needs. Our solution is to apply object oriented concepts to documents, expressing process definitions alongside the content they apply to. We are interested in describing document lifecycles, and use Finite State Machines to describe the way that the individual components of a document change over time. A framework for composing these functional document components must first consider their hierarchical nesting for which we use Hierarchical State Machines. Furthermore, to accommodate the composition of independent sibling components under a common parent we use Concurrent Hierarchical State Machines. This theoretical framework provides practical guidelines for modeling composite document behaviour.

4 Pages

Additional Publication Information: To be Published and presented at DocEng'09, Munich, Germany. September 16-18, 2009

External Posting Date: August 21, 2009 [Abstract Only]. Approved for External Publication - External Copyright Consideration
Internal Posting Date: August 21, 2009 [Fulltext]

Back to Index