Trisotech the Pioneer

Decision Model and Notation (DMN)

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What is DMN?

The Decision Model and Notation™ (DMN™) is an international standard modeling language and notation for the precise specification of repeatable business decisions and business rules.

DMN provides a business-friendly notation for business and IT users to express strategic, tactical, and operational decisions using decision tables and a standard expression language. DMN is easily readable by the different people involved in decision management including business people who specify the rules and monitor their application as well as IT professionals. DMN, BPMN™ (Business Process Model and Notation™) and CMMN™ (Case Management Model and Notation™), all OMG visual modeling standards, can each be used independently, yet were designed to be complementary. DMN is often used with BPMN and/or CMMN to model the decision-making steps in workflows and cases.

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DMN is published and supported by the Object Management Group OMG®, an international, open membership, not-for-profit Standard Development Organization (SDO).

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The DMN standard utilizes visual models which are standardized, verifiable, and where the model serves as both the human readable documentation and as the executable source for the decision automation engine. DMN is designed so that executable decision logic can be fully defined and tested by subject matter experts, i.e., non-programmers. DMN focusses on decisions as specific, reusable business logic modules that are high-level tangible business asset artifacts, usually created and maintained by business subject matter experts (SMEs). A DMN business decision can be automated directly from the visual model into decision engines without IT translation.

DMN works on the principle of defining business decisions where a decision answers a specific business question. The answer (output) of the decision is based on the values of pre-defined input variables to the decision logic in an Inputs → Decision Logic → Answers (output) style. DMN also provides the Friendly Enough Expression Language (FEEL), a simple but powerful way to provide logical, textual, mathematical, list processing, interval, date/time and other functions business people need to make decisions thus supporting both IT professionals and subject matter experts (SMEs).

Do you know decision modeling notation (the DMN specification) defines three incremental levels of conformance in a software implementation? A product that complies at one level must also be compliant with any preceding levels. DMN Conformance Level 3 is the level that includes the requirements in conformance levels 1 and 2, and fully supports Friendly Enough Expression Language (FEEL) expressions, the full set of boxed expressions, and fully executable decision models. This is the highest DMN conformance level. Trisotech supports DMN conformance level 3.

Who Uses DMN?

Because DMN is a vendor-independent standard, as opposed to business rules management systems (BRMS) which are vendor proprietary, and because DMN focuses on decisions instead of rules, DMN has been rapidly growing as a replacement for BRMS.

Typical use cases for DMN decision model notation fall into one of three categories:

1 defining manual/human decision making
2 specifying the requirements for automated decision-making
3 representing a complete, executable model of decision-making

The third use case has become a new standard in digital transformation practices because DMN decision modeling is the precondition for decision automation which in turn is a precondition for most digital business automation. Decision automation ensures reusable business decisions are made consistently and accurately. The encapsulation of business decision logic with DMN also allows business process workflows or business decisions to change without impacting one another.

Using DMN over the traditional business rules approach provides additional benefits. With BRMS, the business rules focus on logic implementation whereas the decision approach presents a high-level big picture view first instead of immediate low-level implementation without the decision context of the solution. DMN also provides a proper decision modeling notation style for decision tables, promotes collaboration and reuse, and provides an effective requirements modeling approach for predictive analytics projects that can incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in an explainable context. All this makes real-world decision modeling with DMN appropriate for shared strategic, tactical, and operational decisions while delivering increased business agility to adapt to changing market and technology conditions.

More about Business Rules and Decision Management

DMN is being used in almost every sector of business and government including national and state governments, retail, agribusiness, financial services, healthcare, transportation, and energy. DMN decision modeling notation is also being included as a primary component in other standards.

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) BABOK, has made DMN a standard for Business Analysis thus placing significant emphasis on decision making by business analysts.

BPM+ Health™, a healthcare community that develops best practices using DMN, BPMN, and CMMN modeling for sharing clinical pathways, clinical guidelines, and other healthcare knowledge to maximize their usefulness and increase their adoption.

MISMO® (Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization), proclaimed as the “Language of Lending” for exchanging information and conducting business in the U.S. mortgage finance industry, has made the DMN standard the MISMO-approved standard for documentation, implementation, execution and exchange of business rules and decisions across the mortgage industry.

Decision Model and Notation in Financial Services

DMN in Financial Services

There is widespread use of decision management systems in finance including in Retail and Commercial Banking, Insurance, Mortgage, Investments, etc.

More info on Finance

The combination of MISMO and DMN can be applied to any business rule or decision shared by mortgage lenders and third parties, including rules such as the ability to repay requirements, HMDA reporting requirements and servicing guidelines. By using DMN standards, lenders could instantly integrate investor guidelines or other partner requirements into their business processes. This would replace the expensive and time-consuming process that is required today.

Use of DMN, an international standard, in controlling complex Fintech workflow paths is becoming universal and incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) with DMN is growing very rapidly. The DMN big-picture view of decision requirements is important in the financial services industry where business decision making often has two parallel dimensions: the business dimension and the regulatory dimension.

DMN modeling and automation fits perfectly with the increasingly widespread utilization of Fintech standards such as the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization (MISMO), the Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO), Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), and the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) standard in the insurance industry.

The financial industry is witnessing disruptive new business models from Fintech start-ups that are blurring the lines between traditional institutional functions, along with increasing regulations from governmental entities that make compliance a serious and costly issue. Furthermore, these regulations are frequently changed and differ from place to place. Regulations about risk management and liquidity management require constant monitoring and seemingly endless disclosure documents. DMN automation provides real-world solutions for managing the sheer volume and constant change of key policy and procedure decisions about:

  • Regulatory compliance
  • Regulatory risk assessment
  • Operational risk assessment
  • Consumer protection activities
  • Fraud detection activities

DMN decision management solutions in the financial sector are also being used for many other complex decisions such as:

  • Risk mitigation decisions
  • Pricing decisions
  • Anti-bias decisions
  • Claims handling decisions
  • Complaint handling & mitigation decisions
  • Compensation profit sharing decisions
  • Bonus decisions
  • EOD closing
  • Credit scoring
  • General and specific underwriting
  • Loan origination
  • Loan servicing
  • Cross selling and up-selling decisions
  • Trade reviews
  • Know your customer (KYC) processes
  • Investment trade validation decisions
Decision Model and Notation in Healthcare

DMN in Healthcare

Healthcare is a highly dynamic industry with constant change being generated from regulatory requirements, new procedures, new medicines, new insurance rules and rapidly evolving technologies.

More info on healthcare

Every healthcare organization must be able to quickly set guidelines and policies associated with their data and tailored to their respective delivery systems and business models against which quality of service, cost containment, and patient satisfaction can be directly measured and continuously improved.

Healthcare automation needs have become so critical and pervasive that to address these concerns head-on, a community of practice, BPM+ Health, has been created. BPM+ Health was established based on the use of open, standards-based notations including DMN (decision management) and other open IT standards which allows for all types of health organizations, professional societies, and vendors to document their care pathways and workflows so that they are sharable, discoverable, and automatable.

Healthcare models like those require multiple decisions, often needing specific patient data. Some of these decisions are based on preset external requirements like Medicare policies and some are specific to the decision-making organization’s policies. One size does not fit all, so the models, to be effective, must be well documented and easy to change to reflect changing policies. DMN decision services solutions allow healthcare organizations to easily define and deploy business solutions, as well as clinical solutions tied to evidence-based best practices.

DMN solutions are being used in:

  • Improving clinical guidelines
  • Care management
  • Prior authorization
  • Billings and payments
  • Off-label prescription policies
  • Alternative diagnoses
  • Adding AI/Machine Learning into decisions
  • Clinical decision support (CDS)
  • Fraud management
  • Actuarial and risk management
  • Insurance/claims calculations
  • Call center scripting
  • Complex process automation pathing
  • Hundreds of healthcare calculators

Trisotech and DMN

Digital Enterprise Suite

Trisotech is a world leader in providing decision management solutions and an active contributor to the DMN standard. Trisotech’s DMN Decision Modeler and Automation are known as the reference implementations for DMN. Trisotech fully supports the DMN standard for modeling and the Trisotech Decision Automation Engine for automating DMN models. This support includes full Conformance Level 3 compliance (the highest level) and support for the most recent version of the standard.

DMN in Financial Services

Trisotech is a MISMO partner and provides DMN technology to that standards group. Trisotech also provides DMN extended modeling support in the form of drag-and-drop “Accelerators” for the MISMO and FIBO standard data structures. Trisotech financial clients include governments, insurance organizations, mortgage finance organizations, loan originators, retail and commercial banks, stock trading exchanges, credit card organizations, real estate brokers, investment brokerage houses and more.

DMN in Healthcare

Trisotech is a founding member of BPM + Health which includes DMN as an integral technology. Trisotech healthcare clientele include international and U.S. acute care hospitals, healthcare insurance organizations, HMOs, renowned teaching hospitals, PPOs, and healthcare professional organizations.

free pre-built evidence-based workflow and decision models

As part of its Healthcare Feature Set (HFS), Trisotech also provides nearly 1,000 free pre-built evidence-based workflow and decision models including care pathways, clinical guidelines, and healthcare calculators in the BPM+ Health standard (DMN, BPMN, and CMMN) that are being put into practice every day. These models are human-readable, machine automatable, and embeddable in most medical encounter systems. Healthcare organizations can use these models, created under the direction of Trisotech CMO John Svirbely, MD, as they are, or quickly and easily modify them to fit the exact nature of their organization’s policies and procedures. Healthcare organizations can also create their own processes and decisions from scratch with the easily understood visual modeler that can be shared by practitioners, IT, SMEs, and business people.

DMN Technology

Decision model creation, testing, administration, and management as well as automation library management, administration, configuration, debugging, simulation, and audit logging are all visual and browser based – making Trisotech’s offering a complete decision management and automation solution.

Trisotech’s DMN-based decision services architecture is built upon SaaS cloud technologies including API-first design which allows for the invocation of automated decisions from practically any programming language in mobile, cloud and on-premise server environments. These automated DMN decision services are stateless, atomic and provide scalable high performance straight through processing. The automated decision services and decision automation engine are also structured to provide full support for today’s complex availability needs including containerization and docker technologies. The DMN platform’s modeling and automation is completely browser based and can be run in any modern browser environment including Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox, etc. Automation servers can be hosted by Trisotech, or Clients including on-premise and public/private clouds like AWS, Azure, Google, etc. Advanced configurations allow for 24 X 7 operation, concurrent geographic dispersion and failover, and containerization operating environments.

Trisotech has also expanded the decision management platform to include specific support for advanced technologies like AI/Machine learning with the inclusion of PMML models in the modeling environment and a PMML execution engine in the automation environment.

OMG®, Decision Model and Notation™, (DMN™), BPMN™, (Business Process Model and Notation™), CMMN™, (Case Management Model and Notation™), and BPM+ Health™ are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Object Management Group, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

Trisotech is an active contributor to the DMN standard.

Trisotech Decision Modeler and Automation are known as the reference implementations for DMN.

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