On the Duality of Information-Centric and Activity-Centric Models of Business Processes

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Abstract

Most of the work in modeling business processes is activity-centric. Recently, an information-centric approach to business process modeling has emerged, where a business process is modeled as the interacting life cycles of information entities. The benefits of this approach are documented in a number of case studies. The goal of this paper is to formalize the information-centric approach and derive the relationships between the two approaches. We do this by formally defining the notion of a business entity from first principles and using this definition to derive an algorithm that generates an information-centric process model from an activity-centric model. We illustrate the two models using a real-world business process and provide an analysis of the respective strengths and weaknesses of the two modeling approaches.