Legal Business Contracts govern the business relationshipbetween trading business partners. Business contracts are likeblueprints of expected business behaviour from all thecontracting parties involved. Business contracts bind theparties to obligations that must be fulfilled by expectedperformance events. Contractual violations can lead to bothlegal and business consequences. Thus it is in the bestinterests of all parties concerned to organise their businessprocess flows to be compliant to the stipulated businesscontracts terms and conditions.
However, Contract Management and Business Process Managementin the current information systems domain are not closelyintegrated. Also it is not easy for business domain experts orinformation systems experts to understand and interpret thelegal terms and conditions into their respective domain needsand requirements. This thesis addresses the above two issues inan attempt to build a semantic bridge across the differentdomains of a legal business contract. This thesis focuses onthe contract execution phase of typical business contracts andas such views contract obligations as processes that need to beexecuted and monitored. Business workflows need to be as closeas possible to the stated contract obligation executionworkflow.
In the first phase, a framework for modelling andrepresenting contractual knowledge in the form of Multi TierContract Ontology (MTCO) is proposed. The MTCO uses conceptualmodels as knowledge representation methodology. It proposes astructured and layered collection of individual ontologiesmoving from the top generic level progressively down tospecific template ontologies. The MTCO is visualised as areusable, flexible, extendable and shared knowledge base.
In the second phase, a methodology for deducing the ContractWorkflow Model (CWM) is proposed. The CWM is deduced from theMTCO and a contract instance document in a stepwise userguideline. The CWM outlines the preferred choreography ofbusiness performance that successfully fulfils the execution ofcontract obligations. The deduced CWM is visualised as an aidto monitor the contract, as a starting point for businessprocess integration and business process workflow design.
Kista: Data- och systemvetenskap , 2003. , 75 p.