The DEAT Business Rule Pattern Language

Russell R. Hurlbut, Ph.D.

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Rule Pattern 35: Exceptions

Problem Describing Exception Actions

When breakdowns occur in a business process, recovery actions are necessary to address exception conditions. Various levels of recovery are possible. Depending of the anticipated frequency of encountering such exceptions, appropriate effort should be expended to sufficiently address them.


Breakdown in normal processing can be addressed though defined types for exception handling intervention. Failures due to unanticipated conditions can be audited. When the business process integrates a mixture of human collaboration with automated systems, states can be defined to trigger manual intervention and override activities. When automated systems collaborate with each other, audit logs may be used to monitor breakdowns and take corrective action as needed. An enumerated set of exception flags may be defined using the Domain rule pattern.

Example - Manual Intervention Flag

An automated system calculates market value for a property based on current properties for sale, previous sold properties, and properties that were withdrawn from the market without selling. Certain types of property required intervention at certain points in the calculation process in order to compensate for incomplete information or features that fall outside the capabilities built into the system. In such cases manual intervention flags are set to allow human intervention to review the calculation in progress. Values may be provided, accepted, and overridden as needed. The following is a sample set of manual intervention flags: {historic property, mixed zoning, undersized vacant, }.

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