Table of Contents

Rediscovering Workflow Models from Event-Based Data using Little Thumb

A.J.M.M. Weijters and W.M.P. van der Aalst
Integral Computer-Aided Engineering, 10(2):151-162, 2003

Abstract

Contemporary workflow management systems are driven by explicit process models, i.e., a completely specified workflow design is required in order to enact a given workflow process. Creating a workflow design is a complicated time-consuming process and typically, there are discrepancies between the actual workflow processes and the processes as perceived by the management. Therefore, we propose a technique for rediscovering workflow models. This technique uses workflow logs to discover the workflow process as it is actually being executed. The workflow log contains information about events taking place. We assume that these events are totally ordered and each event refers to one task being executed for a single case. This information can easily be extracted from transactional information systems (e.g., Enterprise Resource Planning systems such as SAP and Baan). The rediscovering technique proposed in this paper can deal with noise and can also be used to validate workflow processes by uncovering and measuring the discrepancies between prescriptive models and actual process executions.

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