15 minutes for everyone


If every person living on earth today wanted his/her 15 minutes of unrivaled fame, it would take ~193778 years from now. We should get started.

Every day 96 people can have their 15 minutes of fame. That means for an estimated 6.79 billion people living on earth today, we need about 70,729,167 days to get everyone famous. That’s just about 193778 years.

from the other side of the review form: why papers get rejected and what the BPM community can do about it

I’ve been reviewing papers for the International Conference on Business Process Management (BPM) over the last 3 or 4 years, in 2011 and 2012 as a member of the Program Committee. In that time my evaluations of submitted research papers have been to reject the paper in the very vast majority of cases. This year the best score I gave was a borderline on one paper, and a reject on all other papers (8 in total), other years were a bit better, but not much. In the following I’d like to share my view on why the papers were rejected. Paper authors may find this interesting to learn how they can improve their chances of getting a paper accepted. Perhaps more importantly, it also sheds a light on publishing standards within BPM research and what the BPM community as a whole can do to promote these standards.

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number of ways students name an activity in a process model

I am currently evaluating data of a modeling experiment conducted with a number of colleagues. In that experiment, students were given a textual description of the NFL drafting process (which NFL scouts use to pick future star players), and students had to come up with a graphical process model of that process. We had 113 students participating. Obviously, different students will create different models. We also expected students to name the activities in the process model differently. Yet, we found a variety of ways of naming an activity that strikes me.

One sentence in the process description was the following

Afterwards the scouting team attends games of the player they are interested in live in the football stadium.

For this particular activity, we received 84 different ways of naming it (see complete list at the end of this post) – in other words, 2/3 of the students derived a different formal concept from this sentence. I think these observations hint at what needs to improved in teaching modeling. And also shows where real-world problems are in aligning process models to formal or informal descriptions.
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tutorial : eclipse rcp e4 with 3.x views like project explorer, properties, etc.

This tutorial shows step-by-step how to add classical Eclipse 3.x views like Project Explorer and the Properties View to an Eclipse e4 Rich Client Platform (RCP) Application.

Eclipse 4.2 was released a few weeks ago with the new e4 platform that basically uses an EMF model to describe how your application looks and feels. While this is neat, the caveat is that e4 currently (August 2012) does not provide views for a number of core features of the old Eclipse 3.x platform including things like the Project Explorer, a Properties View and the like.

Eclipse 4.2 comes with a “Compatibility Layer” that makes all the old features that were not ported yet to e4 available. However, I could not find a site that tells me how to use it. There are a few quite instructive tutorials out there on how RCP applications with e4 work, for instance http://www.vogella.com/articles/EclipseRCP/article.html. But none showed me how to add a Project Explorer and all the IDE views that I needed for my projects (http://service-technology.org/seda and http://service-technology.org/greta in case you want to know). So I went for the usual approach in the Eclipse-verse: trial and error. Here is what I figured out and works for me.

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on the road to coloured scenarios

I’ve spent the last two days finally following up an idea that was around my research since the early ideas of my PhD thesis: to equip the scenario notion that I developed (I call them oclets) with data, so a system designer could specify how data is exchanged among components of a distributed system. As oclets are based on Petri nets, the logical step was to take Coloured Petri nets and there gain tool support from CPN Tools to do all the elaborate handling of data.

The last two days I pulled out my old tool prototype Greta and gave it access to Access/CPN, the library that contains the simulation engine of CPN tools with all that lovely functionality I was looking for. It took me a bit of time to figure out how to call the simulator with a proper model and how to decompose the problem (scenarios with data) into 2 solvable sub-problems

  • simulate control-flow scenarios without data
  • eliminate spurious executions that violate the data-specification

It works. I’m quite happy that things turned out that nice. A new release of Greta will come as soon as the code base is stable enough. Ah, this is how it looks like:


activating iMessage service on iOS5

Apple released iOS5 yesterday. The update process was not as smooth as I expected – I couldn’t restore my backup from version 5 to version 5 completely. In essence, all media except the photos were lost. Another thing where iOS5 is not smooth is the activation of the iMessage service. At least for me, it kept displaying “waiting for activation”. The trick that made things work:

  1. Go to Settings > Messages
  2. Open the Receive At Settings
  3. Enter a new e-mail address
  4. A verification mail is sent to that e-mail address, open it, click on the link and verify the address by entering your Apple ID
  5. Now, this does not finish the process yet
    Go to  Settings > Messages > Receive At
    The  e-mail address you just entered will still show verifiying.
  6. Tap the e-mail address again and tap on Resend
  7. Now your iMessage account is activated, pick the right CallerID and you are ready to send messages.