Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Industrial Engineering

Major Professor

Ali Yalcin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Suresh Khator, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jose L. Zayas-Castro, Ph.D.


discrete event system, modular control, shuffle product, wfmc, ramadge, wonham


The need for redesigning existing business processes to improve their efficiency makes it essential to adequately represent, study, and automate them. The WFMC defines "workflow" as computerized facilitation or automation of a business process in whole or part. It is actually a representation of the given process, which is made up of well-defined collection of activities called tasks.

Modeling and specification of a workflow involves the following steps: 1) Provide formalism for modeling and specification of workflow 2) specify the tasks together with the associated information and 3) enter the applicable business rules in form of inter-task dependencies.

Earlier attempts at modeling of workflows are based on a centralized control approach, has limited applicability for modeling and control of real life workflow due to computational complexity. In this thesis, a distributed supervisory control approach is described and shown to be computationally tractable. The application of such an approach is demonstrated with a case study.