Event date:
May 15 2023 4:00 pm

Fault Management of Business Processes in the Services Cloud

Dr. Basit Shafiq
Muhammad Adeel Zahid
Lecture Hall 10-202, SBASSE Building, LUMS
PhD Thesis defense


A Business Process (BP) is a set of logically related activities performed to achieve a well-defined business outcome. The emergence of cloud and edge computing has enabled rapid development and deployment of Internet-centric distributed applications. Several platforms and tools exist that enable users to develop distributed business process (BP) applications by composing relevant service components in a plug-and-play manner. However, these platforms and tools do not ensure that the developed BP application is fault-free. BP designers may make errors due to lack of semantic understanding of these web services, or incorrect and/or incomplete workflow specifications. Such errors result in faults which may not necessarily be identified at design or development stage and may only manifest during execution. Therefore, there is a need to develop diagnostic capabilities for Internet-centered BP development.

The objective of this dissertation is to develop an integrated framework for fault resolution of BPs in the services cloud environment. The proposed framework enables a BP designer to submit a faulty BP with correctness criteria and the framework takes the responsibility of discovering and fixing the development faults. The framework includes a prototype implementation that graphically presents a comprehensive fault report including the list of faults and their fixes. The BP designer inspects the fixed BP according to their criteria and accepts or rejects the modifications. The framework aims to empower the BP designer in their debugging efforts. It not only produces the fixes of discovered faults but also generates the implementation-level code of the fixed BP, which can be readily deployed for execution.

There are two main underlying approaches and a hybrid approach that perform fault resolution. The first approach is Efficient Generate-and-Validate (EGV) which is an improvement of basic generate-and-validate (G&V) automated program repair. EGV generates the candidate fixes by applying mutations on the faulty BP. It employs fault localization and slicing to keep the number of candidate fixes manageable. The second approach is collaborative fault resolution (CFR) which aims to utilize information from existing fault-free BPs that use similar services to resolve faults in a user-developed BP. CFR is based on association analysis of pairwise transformations between a faulty BP and existing BPs to identify the smallest possible set of transformations to resolve the fault(s) in the faulty BP. Finally, we propose a hybrid approach that performs fault resolution by analyzing a faulty BP in isolation as well as by comparing it with other BPs using similar services. This hybrid approach results in improved accuracy and broader coverage of fault types. We also perform an extensive experimental evaluation to compare the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

List of Publications: 

  1. Muhammad Adeel Zahid, Basit Shafiq, Jaideep Vaidya, Ayesha Afzal and Shafay Shamail, "Collaborative Business Process Fault Resolution in the Services Cloud," in IEEE Transactions on Services Computing, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 162-176, 1 Jan.-Feb. 2023, doi: 10.1109/TSC.2021.3112525.

  2. Muhammad Adeel Zahid, Ahmed Akhtar, Basit Shafiq, Shafay Shamail, Ayesha Afzal and Jaideep Vaidya, “An Integrated Framework for Fault Resolution in Business Processes”. 2022 IEEE International Conference on Web Services (ICWS), 2022, pp. 266-275, doi: 10.1109/ICWS55610.2022.00048.

  3. Muhammad Adeel Zahid, Basit Shafiq, Shafay Shamail, Ayesha Afzal and Jaideep Vaidya,“BP-DEBUG: A Fault Debugging and Resolution Tool for Business Processes”. 2022 IEEE 42nd International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), 2022, pp. 1306-1309, , doi: 10.1109/ICDCS54860.2022.00143.

Final Defense Committee (FDC):

  1. Dr. Basit Shafiq (Advisor)
  2. Dr. Shafay Shamail (Member)
  3. Dr. Naveed Arshad (Member)
  4. Dr. Naveed ul Hassan (Member)
  5. Dr. Kashif Kifayat (External Examiner)
  6. Dr. Jaideep Vaidya (Member)