Formal Aspects of Computing

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 597–613 | Cite as

On the expressive power of behavioral profiles

  • Artem PolyvyanyyEmail author
  • Abel Armas-Cervantes
  • Marlon Dumas
  • Luciano García-Bañuelos
Original Article


Behavioral profiles have been proposed as a behavioral abstraction of dynamic systems, specifically in the context of business process modeling. A behavioral profile can be seen as a complete graph over a set of task labels, where each edge is annotated with one relation from a given set of binary behavioral relations. Since their introduction, behavioral profiles were argued to provide a convenient way for comparing pairs of process models with respect to their behavior or computing behavioral similarity between process models. Still, as of today, there is little understanding of the expressive power of behavioral profiles. Via counter-examples, several authors have shown that behavioral profiles over various sets of behavioral relations cannot distinguish certain systems up to trace equivalence, even for restricted classes of systems represented as safe workflow nets. This paper studies the expressive power of behavioral profiles from two angles. Firstly, the paper investigates the expressive power of behavioral profiles and systems captured as acyclic workflow nets. It is shown that for unlabeled acyclic workflow net systems, behavioral profiles over a simple set of behavioral relations are expressive up to configuration equivalence. When systems are labeled, this result does not hold for any of several previously proposed sets of behavioral relations. Secondly, the paper compares the expressive power of behavioral profiles and regular languages. It is shown that for any set of behavioral relations, behavioral profiles are strictly less expressive than regular languages, entailing that behavioral profiles cannot be used to decide trace equivalence of finite automata and thus Petri nets.


Behavioral profile Expressive power Behavioral equivalence Behavioral abstraction Dynamic system Regular language 


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Copyright information

© British Computer Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Artem Polyvyanyy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Abel Armas-Cervantes
    • 2
  • Marlon Dumas
    • 2
  • Luciano García-Bañuelos
    • 2
  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Institute of Computer ScienceUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

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