In this paper we describe a formal ontological description of the Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN), one of the most popular languages for business process modelling. The proposed ontology (the BPMN Ontology) provides a classification of all the elements of BPMN, together with the formal description of the attributes and conditions describing how the elements can be combined in a BPMN business process description. Using the classes and properties defined in the BPMN Ontology any BPMN diagram can be represented as an A-box (i.e., a set of instances and assertions on them) of the ontology: this allows the exploitation of ontological reasoning services such as consistency checking and query answering to investigate the compliance of a process with the BPMN Specification as well as other structural property of the process. The paper also presents the modelling process followed for the creation of the BPMN Ontology, and describes some application scenarios exploiting the BPMN Ontology.
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