Incentive Alignment of Business Processes: a game theoretic approach

by   Tobias Heindel, et al.

Many definitions of business processes refer to business goals, value creation, or profits/gains of sorts. Nevertheless, the focus of formal methods research on business processes, like the well-known soundness property, lies on correctness with regards to execution semantics of modeling languages. Among others, soundness requires proper completion of process instances. However, the question of whether participants have any interest in working towards completion (or in participating in the process) has not been addressed as of yet. In this work, we investigate whether inter-organizational business processes give participants incentives for achieving the common business goals—in short, whether incentives are aligned with the process. In particular, fair behavior should pay off and efficient completion of tasks should be rewarded. We propose a game-theoretic approach that relies on algorithms for solving stochastic games from the machine learning community. We describe a method for checking incentive alignment of process models with utility annotations for tasks, which can be used for a priori analysis of inter-organizational business processes. Last but not least, we show that the soundness property corresponds to a special case of incentive alignment.



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