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From The Graphical Representation To The Smart Contract Language: A Use Case In The Construction Industry

Authors:   Xuling Ye

Journal: 38th International Symposium On Automation And Robotics In Construction Dubai, UAE.

Publication Date:  Nov 2021.

Keywords: Process Modeling Smart Contract Blockchain Construction Industry


With The Growing Popularity Of Blockchain Technology In The Construction Industry, Smart Contracts Are Becoming Increasingly Common. A Smart Contract Is A Self-Executing Contract, Which Contains If-Then Rules That Automatically Execute Certain Processes When Certain Conditions Are Met. Such Smart Contracts Serve As Programmable Blockchain Applications. Using Blockchain-Enabled Smart Contracts, Many Processes Like Construction Contracting And Payments Can Be Automated. Since Research On Blockchain-Enabled Smart Contracts In The Construction Industry Is Still Theoretical, Researchers Usually Assume That Users (E.G. Clients, Contractors) Can Directly Program The Conditions In A Smart Contract. However, It Is Difficult For Stakeholders To Program Smart Contracts Themselves Due To A Lack Of Knowledge. The Smart Contracts Developed By Programmers Might Not Fully Represent Stakeholders’ Ideas. Therefore, This Paper Proposes An Approach That Illustrates How Graphical Workflow Notations (E.G. BPMN, YAWL) Can Be Translated Into Smart Contract Programming Languages (E.G. Solidity, Vyper). In This Way, Non-Programmers Can Also Design And Generate Their Own Smart Contracts. To Test The Feasibility Of This Approach, An Illustrative Example Is Presented For Generating Smart Contracts Displaying Automated The Reporting, Checking And Payment Process Of Construction Works. In Particular, The Smart Contracts In This Example Are Translated From YAWL Graphical Representations Into Solidity Smart Contract Languages. Finally, Improvements And Further Developments Of The Approach Are Discussed In Several Aspects.

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