The Steering Committee of the Business Process Management (BPM) Conference Series is pleased to hand out the Runner-Up BPM Test of Time Award 2015 to:

Sebastian Hinz,
Karsten Wolf (born Schmidt),
Christian Stahl

for their paper

Transforming BPEL to Petri Nets

presented at BPM 2005 in Nancy (

The BPM Test of Time Award is given every two years. In 2015 both the award and a runner-up were given to the two most influential papers presented at BPM 2005 in Nancy and BPM 2006 in Vienna. The decision was made by the Steering Committee of the BPM conference series and was based on impact of the papers on the BPM field (both from a scientific and practical viewpoint), number of citations (Google Scholar and Scopus), technical quality, and presentation. Since there were multiple excellent candidates, the Steering Committee decided to also hand out a Runner-Up Award.
The paper provides detailed Petri net semantics for the Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL). The authors provided the first feature complete translation of BPEL to Petri nets supporting also exceptional behavior (e.g., faults, events, compensation). The approach was implemented as a parser that translates BPEL specifications into the input language of the Petri net model checking tool LoLA. Moreover, the paper demonstrates that these semantics could be used to advanced complex verification tasks.

The paper is frequently cited and the work was used by many people and organizations in need of formal semantics for BPEL specifications. Although the interest in BPEL has decreased in recent years, the translations are still very valuable and partly timeless. Many WFM and BPM languages and tools use higher-level languages that need to be translated to Petri nets for verification, enactment, reasoning, and compliance checking. Mappings from this paper can be used in most situations that require such a translation.

The Steering Committee congratulates Sebastian Hinz, Karsten Wolf, and Christian Stahl with their excellent work. The paper is of remarkable quality and serves as a reference for anyone working on the translation of higher-level languages to languages that allow for analysis. Therefore, it definitely deserves to be Runner-Up for the BPM Test of Time Award 2015.