Management, Validation and Optimization of an Information System’s Life Cycle


The main goal of this research project, supported by Hasler Foundation, was to bridge the gap between intuitive and formal representations of systems life cycle processes, by developing a system designed to validate a Software Lifecycle Management (SLCM) and testing its compliance with a reference model.

Today, the way it is done is a sinuous, error-prone process, done manually even where human intervention is not mandatory. We would like to simplify this process with the help of a formalization. The strategy is to find a simple yet powerful and expressive representation language for the specifications, then continue by developing a formal system for them. A reference model for the specifications has to be created and then represent it in the formal language to be able to infer compliance with the reference model.

The main results of this project are presented in several papers. The main contribution is a clear definition of a representation for SLCM processes, which cannot be used as such for validation of systems properties, but which can be mapped easily to a more general and expressive representation that has the desired properties: Petri nets. The model has the advantage that it enforces a systems thinking approach to problem solving from the start, while being simple enough for non-specialists. It therefore sacrifices mathematical elegance to usability, and has a certain trade-off between expressiveness and simplicity.

The system "LCM Representation Translator" was developed based on an open architecture. The system accepts as input any type of graphical diagram - as long as the diagram is represented under an XML-like format - and, based on an appropriate module translator XML-DOT,  transforms diagrams in Petri nets on which a validation module is applied.

Personnes et institutions

Principal applicant Co-applicant PhD. students
Prof. Kilian Stoffel
Information Management Institute
University of Neuchâtel

Assist. Eric Simon
Information Management Institute

Assist. Christophe Kunzi
Information Management Institute

Main Assist. Paul Cotofrei
Information Management Institute

Données administratives

  • Date début : 01.03.2007
  • Date fin : 01.03.2010
  • Montant: 318 162 CHF
  • Financement : Hasler Foundation Projects


[1] E. Simon, I. Ciorăscu and K. Stoffel, "Concept and Implementation of an Ontological Document Management System", In Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Information Systems (BIS 2006), Lecture Notes in Informatics, 85, June 2006, pp. 403-414.

[2] Eric Simon, Iulian Ciorãscu and Kilian Stoffel, An Ontological Document Management System ,  chapter in Technologies for Business Information Systems" , W. Abramowicz, H.C. Mayr (Eds.), Springer-Verlag, pp. 313-325, May 2007, ISBN: 978-1-4020-5633-8.

[3] E. Simon, C. Künzi and K. Stoffel, "Scalable Social Protocols to Formalize Systems Development Life Cycles", In Proceedings of IADIS International Conference e-Society 2007, P. Kommers (Ed.), July 2007, pp. 177-184.

[4] P. Cotofrei and K. Stoffel, "Business Process Modelling for Academic Virtual Organizations", In Pervasive Collaborative Networks, Proceedings of PRO-VE 08, Springer Boston (ed.), 2008, pg. 213-220.

[5] E. Simon and K. Stoffel, "State Machines and Petri nets as a Formal Representation for Systems Life Cycle Management", In Proceedings of IADIS International Conference Information Systems 2009, M.B. Nunes, P. Isaías and P. Powell (Ed.), IADIS Press, pp. 275-282, Barcelona, February 2009, ISBN: 978-972-8924-79-9.
Outstanding Paper Award

[6] E. Simon and K. Stoffel, "Towards Bridging the Gap Between Intuitive and Formal Representations of Systems Life Cycle Processes", IADIS International Journal on Computer Science and Information Systems, 4(3) :39-50, November 2009. ISSN : 1646-3692.