Scalable Enterprise Systems: Exploratory Research on Reconfigurable and Scalable Enterprise Planning Systems

Project Details


This exploratory research grant provides funding for the development of formal methods that allow information system designers and system managers to design and implement software for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) in e-commerce world. The formalism will take a control-theoretic view of enterprise system and will be built on the principle that the business rules, which govern the operation of the enterprise, should only be soft-wired to the design of the information system, which supports ERP and MES. Furthermore, the formalism will provide the necessary theoretical foundation for re-configurable and scalable software system for enterprise operation. Methods will be developed to take the business process and rules in the form of workflow system and translate them into finite automata. Formal methods will be developed, based on the theory of finite automata and discrete event systems, to synthesize control laws, which if imposed on the enterprise operation will guarantee conformance to the specified business rules. Theoretical results will be developed, which if included in the synthesis procedure will provide the enterprise software system with such important properties as fault tolerance and self-recovery from failures. Analytical methods will be developed to study conflicting business rules, redundancy in the business rules and requirements, and allocation of multi functional agents. At the conclusion of this research, a prototype system including the front end featuring the use of traditional process modeling tools such DFD/structured analysis and UML will be developed to demonstrate the formalism. The prototype will be beta sited on an existing enterprise with e-commerce capabilities.

If successful, the results of this research can be used to build a generic software environment, which encompasses synthesis, analysis and optimization while providing a blue print for implementation. Software will allow for a dynamic information system design and will provide the management with the control laws for imposing changing set of business rules over the operation of the physical flows and information flows going on in the enterprise. At the front end, the IT engineer or enterprise manager will be provided with more traditional modeling tools for structured analysis and business process modeling and requirements specification. The translation to finite automata formalism will be automatic. At the core of this software there will be a computational engine, which will synthesize control laws and analyze them for desirable properties. Additional modules can be built to translate these control laws and feed them to ERP, MES and the supporting database.

Effective start/end date9/1/008/31/01


  • National Science Foundation: $99,743.00


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