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AI-Empowered Process Mining for Complex Application Scenarios: Survey and Discussion

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Abstract

The ever-increasing attention of process mining (PM) research to the logs of low structured processes and of non-process-aware systems (e.g., ERP, IoT systems) poses a number of challenges. Indeed, in such cases, the risk of obtaining low-quality results is rather high, and great effort is needed to carry out a PM project, most of which is usually spent in trying different ways to select and prepare the input data for PM tasks. Two general AI-based strategies are discussed in this paper, which can improve and ease the execution of PM tasks in such settings: (a) using explicit domain knowledge and (b) exploiting auxiliary AI tasks. After introducing some specific data quality issues that complicate the application of PM techniques in the above-mentioned settings, the paper illustrates these two strategies and the results of a systematic review of relevant literature on the topic. Finally, the paper presents a taxonomical scheme of the works reviewed and discusses some major trends, open issues and opportunities in this field of research.

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Notes

  1. www.scopus.com

  2. The choice of performing separate searches for the two AI exploitation strategies mainly serves the objective of easing the interpretation, analysis and presentation of the two classes of works considered in our review.

  3. The cutoff value of 1 citation per year acts as a reasonable “survival threshold” for purging both obsolete and low-impact studies. This threshold is not applied to the works published in the current year 2020 for the sake of fairness, seeing as such works might still have no citations at all only due to their short life, independently of their quality and relevance.

  4. In fact, in a scenario affected by a high level of uncertainty (e.g., owing to the combined presence of flexible processes and of ambiguous event-activity mappings), selecting just one optimal interpretation for a trace leads to losing information whenever the trace can be explained via different similarly plausible alternative interpretations, and the analyst’s expertise does not suffice to identify the “right interpretation” and definitely discard the other ones.

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Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by the European Commission funded project “Humane AI: Toward AI Systems That Augment and Empower Humans by Understanding Us, our Society and the World Around Us” (grant # 820437). The support is gratefully acknowledged.

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Folino, F., Pontieri, L. AI-Empowered Process Mining for Complex Application Scenarios: Survey and Discussion. J Data Semant 10, 77–106 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13740-021-00121-2

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Keywords

  • Process mining
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Data quality
  • Augmented analytics
  • Informed machine learning
  • Structured literature review