Minimizing Human Interaction Time in Workflows

Christian Hiesinger, Daniel Fischer, Stefan Föll, Klaus Herrmann and Kurt Rothermel

Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Internet and Web Applications and Services (ICIW), 2011

Used by the ALLOW Ensembles project

Many business scenarios require humans to interact with workflows. To support humans as unobtrusively as possible in the execution of their activities, it is important to keep the interaction time experienced by humans as low as possible. The time required for such interactions is influenced by two factors: First, by the runtime of the services that are used by a workflow during an interaction. Second, by the time required to transfer data between workflow servers and services that may be distributed in a global network. This paper proposes an algorithm that computes a suitable distribution of a workflow in such a network. The goal of the proposed algorithm is to minimize the time required for interactions between a human and a workflow. Current approaches in the domain of workflow optimization pay little attention towards optimizing a workflow to increase the usability for humans. The authors show the feasibility of their approach by comparing the proposed algorithm with two non-distributed approaches and a distributed approach which is based on a greedy algorithm and show that the proposed algorithm outperforms these approaches.