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Data-oriented workflows are often used in scientific applications for executing a set of dependent tasks across multiple computers. We discuss how these can be modeled using lambda calculus, and how ideas from functional programming are applicable in the design of workflows. Such an approach avoids the restrictions often found in workflow languages, permitting the implementation of complex application logic and data manipulation. This paper explains why lambda calculus is an appropriate modeldoi:10.1002/cpe.1448 fatcat:446xuff7lfei3aa2co6kw25hwi