Abstraction, Visualization, and Evolution of Process Models

Universität Ulm

Verteidigung der Dissertation, Jens Kolb, Ort: O28/1002, Datum: 29.07.2015, Zeit: 10:00 Uhr

The increasing adoption of process orientation in companies and organizations has resulted in large process model collections. Each process model of such a collection may comprise dozens or hundreds of elements and captures various perspectives of a business process, i.e., organizational, functional, control, resource, or data perspective. Domain experts having only limited process modeling knowledge, however, hardly comprehend such large and complex process models. Therefore, they demand for a customized (i.e., personalized) view on business processes enabling them to optimize and evolve process models effectively.
This thesis contributes the proView framework to systematically create and update process views (i.e., abstractions) on process models and business processes respectively. More precisely, process views abstract large process models by hiding or combining process information. As a result, they provide an abstracted, but personalized representation of process information to domain experts. In particular, updates of a process view are supported, which are then propagated to the related process model as well as associated process views. Thereby, up-to-dateness and consistency of all process views defined on any process model can be always ensured. Finally, proView preserves the behaviour and correctness of a process model. Process abstractions realized by views are still not sufficient to assist domain experts in comprehending and evolving process models. Thus, additional process visualizations are introduced that provide text-based, form-based, and hierarchical representations of process models. Particularly, these process visualizations allow for view-based process abstractions and updates as well. Finally, process interaction concepts are introduced enabling domain experts to create and evolve process models on touch-enabled devices. This facilitates the documentation of process models in workshops or while interviewing process participants at their workplace.
Altogether, proView enables domain experts to interact with large and complex process models as well as to evolve them over time, based on process model abstractions, additional process visualizations, and process interaction concepts. The framework is implemented in a proof-of-concept prototype and validated through experiments and case studies.