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Guest Talk: Blockchain Smart Contracts: Current Use and Applicability to Business Processes

Ingo Weber, PhD

Date/Time: 06.07.2016, 12:00

Loca­tion: D2.2.094

Abstract

The inte­gra­tion of busi­ness processes across orga­niza­t­ions is a key driver of produc­tivity gains. However, colla­bo­ra­tive process execu­tion is proble­matic if the orga­ni­sa­tions involved have a lack of trust in each other. As a result, if there are three or more parties in a colla­bo­ra­tion, it can be hard to make a deci­sion on which orga­ni­sa­tion should control the process that ties them toge­ther.  

Block­chain is an emer­ging tech­no­logy for decen­tra­lized and tran­sac­tional data sharing across a large network of untrusted parti­ci­pants. It can enable new forms of distri­buted systems and colla­bo­ra­tions, where parti­ci­pants can find agree­ment about their shared state without trus­ting a central autho­rity or any parti­cular parti­ci­pant. Block­chain network also provides a global compu­ta­tional infra­struc­ture that can run auto­no­mous programs called smart contracts.  

In this talk, I will discuss results from an obser­va­tional study on current use of Block­chain smart contracts. Then I will outline our proposal for using Block­chain to replace a central autho­rity and faci­li­tate colla­bo­ra­tive process execu­tion. Our solu­tion comprises the combi­na­tion of an intri­cate set of compo­n­ents, which allow utili­sing the compu­ta­tional infra­struc­ture of Block­chain network to either monitor or coor­di­nate busi­ness processes. We imple­mented our solu­tion and demons­trate the feasi­bi­lity of our approach through obser­va­tions made when applying it to three use case processes.

Bio

Dr. Ingo Weber is a Prin­cipal Rese­arch Scien­tist and Team Leader of the Archi­tec­ture & Analy­tics Plat­forms (AAP) team at Data61, CSIRO (formerly NICTA) in Sydney. He is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the School of Computer Science and Engi­nee­ring (CSE), Univer­sity of New South Wales (UNSW). He has published over 70 refe­reed papers and co-aut­hored two books. Prior to CSIRO / NICTA, Ingo worked at UNSW, and at SAP Rese­arch in Karls­ruhe, Germany. While at SAP, he completed his PhD thesis at the Rese­arch Center for Infor­ma­tion Tech­no­lo­gies (FZI) and the Univer­sity of Karls­ruhe (TH).



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