Patent application serial number 755670 is assigned to
The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Administrators of complex business processes typically take precautions to help ensure that their business processes continue to operate despite the occurrences of certain unwanted events. For example, many business processes use computer systems for at least a portion of the business process. Often, precautions are taken to ensure that data continues to flow in to and out of these computer systems despite failures of certain devices in the system. For example, backup storage systems and redundant communications paths are often used to increase the integrality of a computing system.
"However, these precautions are normally only taken within the particular entity. Typically, a business that relies on another business cannot force the other business to build robust systems, and most businesses are not willing to share the internal details of their operation with other businesses. This is especially true in highly regulated businesses such as banking, finance, health care, energy, etc. As a result, each business typically takes an approach that attempts to assume that any incoming and/or outgoing communication path may be disrupted.
"Network simulation tools help the administrator visualize what devices are in his/her particular network and how those devices are connected to other devices in his/her network. In addition, network simulation tools may allow the administrator to make certain assumptions about devices outside of his/her business that have a direct relationship with one or more devices inside his/her business.
"However, these types of assumptions may not be accurate and typically do not take into account ripple effects caused by indirect relationships with other devices. In order to accurately simulate these ripple effects, the network administrator would need to know information about devices outside of his/her business. In addition, network simulations tools do not allow a user to simulate his overall business process. For example, if a portion of a business process is to manually switch from a local call center to a foreign call center in the event of a failure at the local call center, network simulations tools do not allow these 'people processes' to be simulated, and business people are typically not willing to expose these types of business model details to other organizations."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The simulation system (i.e., methods, apparatus, and/or software) disclosed herein solves these problems. Unlike a network simulation tool, the disclosed business process simulation system allows enterprise managers to practice business responses in a risk free environment. Specifically, the simulation system disclosed herein uses a secure distributed model wherein each business entity models itself on a local client device at any chosen level of detail, and a simulation server connects the separate client based simulations into one large simulation without exposing unauthorized details of one participant's internal simulation details to another simulation participant. In this manner, business entities participating in the simulation can exercise different fault scenarios and response strategies with other business entities. If a client device based model is not available, the server supplies a software agent to replace the inputs and outputs normally associated with that portion of the overall simulation. Interruptions in data and other business process flows caused by simulated disruptions introduced at the simulation server and/or a client device are propagated to all of the affected simulation participants via the simulation server. As each simulation participant receives the updated simulation scenario, business decisions are made by the simulation participants, and the effect of those decisions is propagated to all of the simulation participants. As a result, each simulation participant can share the benefit of an accurate model of its portion of the overall business process without exposing internal details of their business systems and processes.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 is a high level block diagram of a business system showing direct and indirect relationships between business entities.
"FIG. 2 is a high level block diagram of a communications system.
"FIG. 3 is a more detailed block diagram showing one example of a computing device.
"FIG. 4 is a block diagram showing example logical connections between a simulation server and a plurality of business entities.
"FIG. 5 is a flowchart of an example process to simulate a financial transaction system.
"FIG. 6 is a screenshot of a top level view of an example graphical simulation tool used to create and/or modify a client based simulation model.
"FIG. 7 is a screenshot of an example portion of internal simulation details associated with a local simulation model.
"FIG. 8 is a screenshot of an example simulation model showing usage percentages that are broken down into multiple levels.
"FIG. 9 is a screenshot of an example health graph.
"FIG. 10 is a screenshot of an example simulation model using a tree structure.
"FIG. 11 is a screenshot of another example simulation model using a tree structure.
"FIG. 12 is a screenshot of yet another example simulation model using a tree structure and showing a details table.
"FIG. 13 is a screenshot of a top level view of an example client based simulation model showing a connections table.
"FIG. 14 is a screenshot of an example simulation model being edited via a table that includes a trigger value.
"FIG. 15 is a screenshot of an example simulation from a server view and two different client views.
"FIG. 16 is a screenshot of an example simulation from a server view when a server tab is selected.
"FIG. 17 is a screenshot of an example simulation from a client view when a client tab is selected.
"FIG. 18 is a screenshot of a top level view of an example simulation when a disruption occurs.
"FIG. 19 is a screenshot of a lower level view of an example simulation when a disruption occurs.
"FIG. 20 is a screenshot of an example alert message.
"FIG. 21 is an example business system tree structure used to define a business system, expose certain details of that business system to other simulation participants, and/or play out different scenarios."
URL and more information on this patent application, see:
Keywords for this news article include: Software,
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