PSL defines a neutral representation for mfg processes ""
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Date created: 5/10/2003
Last updated: 1/15/2007
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Many applications use process information, including production scheduling, process planning, workflow, business process reengineering, simulation, process realization process modeling, and project management. There are at least two problems with the way all applications typically represent process information:

  • They use their own internal representations, therefore communication between them, a growing need for industry, is nearly impossible without some kind of translator.

  • The meaning of the representation is captured informally, in documentation and example, so little automated assistance can be given to the process designer.

The goals of PSL are to create a process representation that:

  • is common to all manufacturing applications, generic enough to be decoupled from any given application, and robust enough to represent the necessary process information for any given application.

  • addresses the “runtime” level of processes, to capture the intended effect of process languages in a computer-manipulable way.

The benefits of the representation are:

  • Facilitating communication between the various applications because they would all “speak the same language.” Companies and departments are not constrained to using the same or similar software packages, or introduce a new learning curve to one of the organizations that possibly does not have that package. The companies can use their native software package that are “PSL compliant” and then export files in the common representation to be read by the partner company.

  • Providing automated assistance for process development by defining the semantics of process languages in a computer-manipulable way. For example, many businesses have rules and policies that their processes are supposed to follow. However, the representation of these typically do not enable tools to check whether they are consistent. PSL represents rules about processes in the same way as the processes themselves, and uses a formalism that supports automated reasoning. Tools can translate business rules and processes to PSL to check where business processes are not following policies and rules.