[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many organizations build up their business process management activities in an incremental way. As a result, there is no overarching structure defined at the beginning. However, as business In this paper, we introduce a technique for automatically extracting process categories from process model collections and test it using a collection from industry. The results demonstrate the usefulness of the technique by revealing issues of the pre-existing process categories. In this way, we contribute to the field of process model management and quality assurance.
Process Model Collection Workshops at the 11th Business Process Management Conference, Beijing, China; 08/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ContextThe Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) standard informally defines a precise execution semantics. It defines how process instances should be updated in a model during execution. Existing formalizations of the standard are incomplete and rely on mappings to other languages.Objective
This paper provides a BPMN 2.0 semantics formalization that is more complete and intuitive than existing formalizations.Method
The formalization consists of in-place graph transformation rules that are documented visually using BPMN syntax. In-place transformations update models directly and do not require mappings to other languages. We have used a mature tool and test-suite to develop a reference implementation of all rules.ResultsOur formalization is a promising complement to the standard, in particular because all rules have been extensively verified and because conceptual validation is facilitated (the informal semantics also describes in-place updates).Conclusion
Since our formalization has already revealed problems with the standard and since the BPMN is still evolving, the maintainers of the standard can benefit from our results. Moreover, tool vendors can use our formalization and reference implementation for verifying conformance to the standard.
Information and Software Technology 02/2013; 55(2):365–394. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Once multiple models of a business process are created for different purposes or to capture different variants, verification of behaviour equivalence or compatibility is needed. Equivalence verification ensures that two business process models specify the same behaviour. Since different process models are likely to differ with respect to their assumed level of abstraction and the actions that they take into account, equivalence notions have to cope with correspondences between sets of actions and actions that exist in one process but not in the other. In this paper, we present notions of equivalence and compatibility that can handle these problems. In essence, we present a notion of equivalence that works on correspondences between sets of actions rather than single actions. We then integrate our equivalence notion with work on behaviour inheritance that copes with actions that exist in one process but not in the other, leading to notions of behaviour compatibility. Compatibility notions verify that two models have the same behaviour with respect to the actions that they have in common. As such, our contribution is a collection of behaviour equivalence and compatibility notions that are applicable in more general settings than existing ones.
The Computer Journal 11/2012; · 0.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Becoming more and more process oriented, companies develop collections of hundreds or even thousands of business process models that represent the complex system of cooperating entities that form an organization. Designing and analyzing the structure of this system of business process models emerges as a new challenge, which is covered by the field of business process architecture. This paper presents a formal conceptual framework for representing and analyzing business process architectures. It identifies patterns of relations between process models, and it introduces anti-patterns that represent erroneous relations between them. The conceptual framework and the patterns are evaluated using a real-world process model collection. The evaluation shows that explicitly representing and analyzing relations between process models can help improving the correctness and consistency of the business process architecture as a whole.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nowadays, more and more organizations describe their operations in terms of business processes. Consequently, it is common for organizations to have collections of hundreds or even thousands of business process models. This calls for techniques to quickly retrieve business process models that satisfy a given query. Some advanced techniques for querying a collection business process models exist. However, these techniques mainly focus on the expressive power of the query language, and performing an advanced business process query using these techniques can take considerable time. Consequently, querying a collection of models can take considerable time. To solve this problem, this paper proposes an efficient technique, using feature nets. Experiments show that on average the technique performs two orders of magnitude faster than existing techniques.
Proceedings of the 10th international conference on Business Process Management; 09/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ContextLarge organizations often run hundreds or even thousands of different business processes. Managing such large collections of business process models is a challenging task. Software can assist in performing that task, by supporting common management functions such as storage, search and version management of models. It can also provide advanced functions that are specific for managing collections of process models, such as managing the consistency of public and private processes. Software that supports the management of large collections of business process models is called: business process model repository software.Objective
This paper contributes to the development of business process model repositories, by analyzing the state of the art.Method
To perform the analysis a literature survey and a comparison of existing (business process model) repository technology is performed.ResultThe results of the state of the art analysis are twofold. First, a framework for business process model repositories is presented, which consists of a management model and a reference architecture. The management model lists the functionality that can be provided and the reference architecture presents the components that provide that functionality. Second, an analysis is presented of the extent to which existing business process model repositories implement the functionality from the framework.Conclusion
The results presented in the paper are valuable as a comprehensive overview of business process model repository functionality. In addition they form a basis for a future research agenda. We conclude that existing repositories focus on traditional functionality rather than exploiting the full potential of information management tools, thus we show that there is a strong basis for further research.
Information and Software Technology 04/2012; 54:380-395. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nowadays, it is common for organizations to maintain collections of hundreds or even thousands of business processes. Techniques exist to search through such a collection, for business process models that are similar to a given query model. However, those techniques compare the query model to each model in the collection in terms of graph structure, which is inefficient and computationally complex. This paper presents an efficient algorithm for similarity search. The algorithm works by efficiently estimating model similarity, based on small characteristic model fragments, called features. The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, it presents three techniques to improve the efficiency of the currently fastest similarity search algorithm. Second, it presents a software architecture and prototype for a similarity search engine. Third, it presents an advanced evaluation of the algorithm. Experiments show that the algorithm in this paper helps to perform similarity search about 10 times faster than the original algorithm.
Distributed and Parallel Databases 02/2012; · 1.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nowadays, business process management is an important approach for managing organizations from an operational perspective. As a consequence, it is common to see organizations develop collections of hundreds or even thousands of business process models. Such large collections of process models bring new challenges and provide new opportunities, as the knowledge that they encapsulate requires to be properly managed. Therefore, a variety of techniques for managing large collections of business process models is being developed. The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of the management techniques that currently exist, as well as the open research challenges that they pose.
Computers in Industry 02/2012; 63(2):91-97. · 1.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article addresses the problem of constructing consolidated business process models out of collections of process models that share common fragments. The article considers the construction of unions of multiple models (called merged models) as well as intersections (called digests). Merged models are intended for analysts who wish to create a model that subsumes a collection of process models -- typically representing variants of the same underlying process -- with the aim of replacing the variants with the merged model. Digests, on the other hand, are intended for analysts who wish to identify the most recurring fragments across a collection of process models, so that they can focus their efforts on optimizing these fragments. The article presents an algorithm for computing merged models and an algorithm for extracting digests from a merged model. The merging and digest extraction algorithms have been implemented and tested against collections of process models taken from multiple application domains. The tests show that the merging algorithm produces compact models and scales up to process models containing hundreds of nodes. Furthermore, a case study conducted in a large insurance company has demonstrated the usefulness of the merging and digest extraction operators in a practical setting.
ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology 01/2012; 22(2). · 1.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Business process models are increasingly used by companies, often yielding repositories of several thousand models. These models are of great value for business analysis such as service identification or process standardization. A problem is though that many of these analyses require the pairwise comparison of process models, which is hardly feasible to do manually given an extensive number of models. While the computation of similarity between a pair of process models has been intensively studied in recent years, there is a notable gap on automatically matching activities of two process models. In this paper, we develop an approach based on semantic techniques and probabilistic optimization. We evaluate our approach using a sample of admission processes from different universities.
International Conference on Business Process Management; 01/2012
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ContextIn order to ensure high quality of a process model repository, refactoring operations can be applied to correct anti-patterns, such as overlap of process models, inconsistent labeling of activities and overly complex models. However, if a process model collection is created and maintained by different people over a longer period of time, manual detection of such refactoring opportunities becomes difficult, simply due to the number of processes in the repository. Consequently, there is a need for techniques to detect refactoring opportunities automatically.
Information and Software Technology 09/2011; 53:937-948. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modularization is a widely advocated mechanism to manage a business process model's size and complexity. However, the widespread use of subprocesses in models does not rest on solid evidence for its benefits to enhance their comprehension, nor are the criteria clear how to identify subprocesses. In this paper, we describe an empirical investigation to test the effectiveness of using subprocesses in real-life process models. Our results suggest that subprocesses may foster the understanding of a complex business process model by their “information hiding” quality. Furthermore, we explored different categories of criteria that can be used to automatically derive process fragments that seem suitable to capture as subprocesses. From this exploration, approaches that consider the connectedness of subprocesses seem most attractive to pursue. This insight can be used to develop tool support for the modularization of business process models.
Information Systems 07/2011; 36:881-897. · 1.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Business process models are becoming available in large numbers due to their popular use in many industrial applications such as enterprise and quality engineering projects. On the one hand, this raises a challenge as to their proper management: How can it be ensured that the proper process model is always available to the interested stakeholder? On the other hand, the richness of a large set of process models also offers opportunities, for example with respect to the re-use of existing model parts for new models. This paper describes the functionalities and architecture of an advanced process model repository, named APROMORE. This tool brings together a rich set of features for the analysis, management and usage of large sets of process models, drawing from state-of-the art research in the field of process modeling. A prototype of the platform is presented in this paper, demonstrating its feasibility, as well as an outlook on the further development of APROMORE.
Expert Systems with Applications 06/2011; · 1.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is common for large and complex organizations to maintain repositories of business process models in order to document and to continuously improve their operations. Given such a repository, this paper deals with the problem of retrieving those process models in the repository that most closely resemble a given process model or fragment thereof. The paper presents three similarity metrics that can be used to answer such queries: (i) label matching similarity that compares the labels attached to process model elements; (ii) structural similarity that compares element labels as well as the topology of process models; and (iii) behavioral similarity that compares element labels as well as causal relations captured in the process model. These similarity metrics are experimentally evaluated in terms of precision and recall, and in terms of correlation of the metrics with respect to human judgement. The experimental results show that all three metrics yield comparable results, with structural similarity slightly outperforming the other two metrics. Also, all three metrics outperform traditional search engines when it comes to searching through a repository for similar business process models.
Information Systems 04/2011; 36. · 1.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nowadays, business process management plays an important role in the management of organizations. More and more organizations
describe their operations as business processes, and the intra- and inter-organizational interactions between operations as
services. It is common for organizations to have collections of hundreds or even thousands of business processes. Consequently,
techniques are required to quickly find relevant business process models in such a collection. Currently, techniques exist
that can rank all business process models in a collection based on their similarity to a query business process model. However,
those techniques compare the query model with each model in the collection in terms of graph structure, which is inefficient
and computationally complex. Therefore, this paper presents a technique to make this more efficient. The technique selects
small characteristic model fragments, called features, which are used to efficiently estimate model similarities and classify
them as relevant, irrelevant or potentially relevant to a query model. Only potentially relevant models must be compared using the existing techniques. Experiments show that this helps to retrieve similar models at least
3.5 times faster without impacting the quality of the results; and 5.5 times faster if a quality reduction of 1% is acceptable.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper addresses the following problem: given two business process models, create a process model that is the union of the process models given as input. In other words, the behavior of the produced process model should encompass that of the input models. The paper describes an algorithm that produces a single configurable process model from a pair of process models. The algorithm works by extracting the common parts of the input process models, creating a single copy of them, and appending the differences as branches of configurable connectors. This way, the merged process model is kept as small as possible, while still capturing all the behavior of the input models. Moreover, analysts are able to trace back which model(s) a given element in the merged model originates from. The algorithm has been prototyped and tested against process models taken from several application domains.
On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems: OTM 2010 - Confederated International Conferences: CoopIS, IS, DOA and ODBASE, Hersonissos, Crete, Greece, October 25-29, 2010, Proceedings, Part I; 01/2010