Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models

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As business process management is increasingly applied in practice, more companies document their operations in the form of process models. Since users require descriptions of one process on various levels of detail, there are often multiple models created for the same process. Business process model abstraction emerged as a technique reducing the number of models to be stored: given a detailed process model, business process model abstraction delivers abstract representations for the same process. A key problem in many abstraction scenarios is the transition from detailed activities in the initial model to coarse-grained activities in the abstract model. This transition is realized by an aggregation operation clustering multiple activities to a single one. So far, humans decide on how to aggregate, which is expensive. This paper presents a semi-automated approach to activity aggregation that reduces the human effort significantly. The approach takes advantage of an activity meronymy relation, i.e., part-of relation defined between activities. The approach is semi-automated, as it proposes sets of meaningful aggregations, while the user still decides. The approach is evaluated by a real-world use case.

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Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models

  1. 1. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models Sergey Smirnov1, Remco Dijkman2, Jan Mendling3, and Mathias Weske1 1 Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany 2 Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands 3 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
  2. 2. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 2 Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models Motivation > 300 nodes > 150 activities
  3. 3. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 3 Business Process Model Abstraction … is an operation on a business process model preserving essential process properties and leaving out insignificant process details in order to retain information relevant for a particular purpose
  4. 4. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 4 BPMA Scenario Abstraction objects = Activities Abstraction operation = Aggregation Confirm order Revise order Update customer file Update manufacturing plan Generate order summary Review order summary Arrange shipment Receive order Update customer file Handle order Process order summary Receive order
  5. 5. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 5 P Structural BPMA Challenges Confirm order Revise order Update customer file Update manufacturing plan Generate order summary Review order summary Arrange shipment Receive order Arrange shipment Update manufacturing plan Revise order Generate order summary Review order summary Update customer file Candidate 1 Candidate 2 ?Candidate 1 Candidate 2
  6. 6. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 6 Activity Ontology Create order report Update customer profile Generate order summary Review order summary Process order summary Send otification Forward file to
  7. 7. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 7 P Role of Activity Ontology in BPMA Confirm order Revise order Update customer file Update manufacturing plan Generate order summary Review order summary Arrange shipment Receive order Generate order summary Review order summary Update customer file Candidate 1 Candidate 2 Create order report Update customer profile Generate order summary Review order summary Process order summary Send otification ?Candidate 1 Candidate 2
  8. 8. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 8 Aggregation Mining Idea Input: Process model + Ontology Output: Aggregations Algorithm Sketch: FOR each aggregation candidate map each aggregation candidate activity to an ontology activity IF (ontology activities are strongly related) aggregation candidate is an aggregation How to find an aggregation candidate efficiently? How to judge on ontology activity relatedness?
  9. 9. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 9 Activity Alphabet Create order report Update customer profile Generate order summary Review order summary Process order summary Send otification Forward file to
  10. 10. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 10 Process Model is a process model, where:  finite non-empty set of activities  finite set of gateways   finite set of nodes  the flow relation  a connected graph
  11. 11. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 11 Aggregation Candidate In process model is an aggregation candidate.
  12. 12. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 12 Meronymy tree is a tuple Meronymy Tree n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 n0
  13. 13. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 13 Meronymy Forest Meronymy forest F is a disjoint union of meronymy trees n9 n10 n12 n13 n14 n15 n16 n17 n18 n19 n20 n21 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 n9 n10 n12 n13 n14 n15 n16 n17 n18 n19 n20 n21
  14. 14. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 14 Aggregation Candidate Construction Construction of aggregation candidates aggregation through aggregation candidate size increment start: k =2 i iteration: construct i-size aggregation candidates from (i-1) aggregation candidates prune insignificant candidates prune candidates with large distance stop: k=|A|, PM = (A, G, E) OR all the aggregation candidates of size k are pruned
  15. 15. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 15 Activity Match (1) A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 n13 n14 n15 n16 n17 n18 n19 n20 n21 Process model Meronymy forest
  16. 16. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 16 Activity Match (2) A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 n13 n14 n15 n16 n17 n18 n19 n20 n21 Process model Meronymy forest
  17. 17. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 17 Activity MixMatch A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 n13 n14 n15 n16 n17 n18 n19 n20 n21 Process model Meronymy forest n1 g n14 n15n1 g n15n14
  18. 18. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 18 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 f Lowest Common Ancestor Lowest common ancestor is a function maps a tree node set to its lowest common ancestor e n2
  19. 19. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 19 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 f Meronymy Leaves Meronymy leaves is a function maps an activity to the leaves of the subtree rooted to this activity e n2
  20. 20. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 20 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 Degree of Aggregation Coverage (1) Degree of aggregation coverage is a function
  21. 21. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 21 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 Degree of Aggregation Coverage (2) Degree of aggregation coverage is a function
  22. 22. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 22 n0 n1 n2 g n3 e f n6 n7 n8n4 n5 Degree of Aggregation Coverage Properties Shows  if the LCA has other descendents, except aggregation candidate Ignores  aggregation candidate size  the aggregation candidate depth in the LCA subtree  ignore the LCA depth Possesses  value between 0 and 1
  23. 23. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 23 Object Studied in Evaluation Model collection  6 process models (42 activities on average) Meronymy forest  MIT Process Handbook  processes elicited in the interviews with process experts  ≈ 5000 activities  specifies meronymy and hyponymy  spans several business domains
  24. 24. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 24 Evaluation Approach  Each activity aggregation is decomposed into a set of subsets of size 2, e.g.: {a, b, c} → {a, b}, {a, c}, {b, c}  Modeling expert evaluates pair relevance  Experiments varying node distance, cover  Observe the precision value
  25. 25. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 25 Evaluation Results 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1 2 3 4 cover threshold 0.3 cover threshold 0.2 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 2 3 4 cover threshold 0.3 cover threshold 0.2 Observations 0.27 ≤ precision ≤ 0.46 ↑ cover → ↑ precision ↑ node distance → ↓ precision
  26. 26. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 26 Conclusion Contributions  Metric for relatedness of activity sets  Activity aggregation mining algorithm Future work  Improve activity matching technique  Precise aggregation mining technique evaluation  Investigate other information enabling activity aggregation
  27. 27. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 27 Thank you!
  28. 28. Meronymy-based Aggregation of Activities in Business Process Models 28 Contact Details Sergey Smirnov PhD Student Business Process Technology Group Hasso Plattner Institute Prof.-Dr.-Helmert-Str. 2-3, 14482 Potsdam, Germany Email: sergey.smirnov@hpi.uni-potsdam.de Phone: +49 (0) 331 5509 194 Fax: +49(0) 331 5509 189

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