Using Insights from Cognitive Neuroscience to Investigate the Effects of Event-Driven Process Chains on Process Model Comprehension

Universität Ulm

Presentation at the 1st Workshop on Cognitive Business Process Management (CBPM’17);

Tim Mohring, Barcelona, Spain, 11 September 2017, 12:00 PM

Business process models have been adopted by enterprises for more than a decade. Especially for domain experts, the comprehension of process models constitutes a challenging task that needs to be mastered when creating or reading these models. This paper presents the results we obtained from an eye tracking experiment on process model comprehension. In detail, individuals with either no or advanced expertise in process modeling were confronted with models expressed in terms of Event-driven Process Chains (EPCs), reflecting different levels of difficulty. The first results of this experiment confirm recent findings from one of our previous experiments on the reading and comprehension of process models. On one hand, independent from their level of expertise, all individuals face similar patterns, when being confronted with process models exceeding a certain level of difficulty. On the other, it appears that process models expressed in terms of EPCs are perceived differently compared to process models specified in the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). In the end, their generalization needs to be confirmed by additional empirical experiments. The presented experiment continues a series of experiments that aim to unravel the factors fostering the comprehension of business process models by using methods and theories stemming from the field of cognitive neuroscience and psychology.