Modeling Context for Business Rule Management

F. Burgstaller, D. Steiner, M. Schrefl
Burg16b (2016)
Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE 18th Conference on Business Informatics (CBI 2016), Volume 1 - Conference Papers. 25.08.-02.09.2016, Paris. IEEE, 2016, pp. 262-271.
Copy  (In order to obtain the copy please send an email with subject  Burg16b  to

Abstract (English)

Many companies are confronted with an increasingly large number of business rules. Consequently, means for efficient and effective management of these business rules are necessary. However, Business Rule Management Systems (BRMS) frequently provide only simple business rule organization techniques such as collecting business rules into rule sets according to a single criterion. Many fields organize information by contexts that may be hierarchically structured. Similarly, we propose the use of contexts to manage business rules and associated business vocabulary.

We survey context literature and identify dimensions and possible choices for each dimension to compare and relate different context models. For each dimension we propose the appropriate choice for a context model of business rules and business vocabulary. Based on these choices we present a generic context model for business rules and business vocabulary that can be instantiated multi-level: for a specific domain and for a concrete application. We demonstrate the usefulness of the generic context model for business rules and vocabulary by relating it to a use case in the aeronautical domain, the semantic filtering of digital Notices to Airmen. This real world use case addressed in the SemNOTAM project involves thousands of business rules and extensive business vocabularies. These need to be organized along multiple hierarchical context parameters (e.g. aircraft type, mode of operation) such that they become manageable with regard to definition, maintenance, extension, and determining the business rules and business vocabulary relevant for a specific business case (e.g. flight plan of a pilot, responsibility area of a controller).