Improving Understandability of Declarative Process Models by Revealing Hidden Dependencies

  • Johannes De SmedtEmail author
  • Jochen De Weerdt
  • Estefanía Serral
  • Jan Vanthienen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9694)


Declarative process models have become a mature alternative to procedural ones. Instead of focusing on what has to happen, they rather follow an outside-in approach based on a rule base containing different types of constraints. The models are well-capable of representing flexible behavior, as everything that is not forbidden by the constraints in the model is possible during execution. These models, however, are more difficult to comprehend and require a higher mental effort of both the modeler and the reader. Since constraints can be added freely to the model, it is often overseen what impact the combination of them has. This is often referred to as hidden dependencies. This paper proposes a methodology to make these dependencies explicit for the declarative process modeling language Declare by considering a Declare model as a graph and relying on the constraints’ characteristics. Moreover, this paper also contributes by empirically confirming that a tool that can visualize hidden dependency information on top of a Declare model has a significant positive impact on the understandability of Declare models.


Declarative process modeling Declare Hidden dependencies Empirical evaluation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johannes De Smedt
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jochen De Weerdt
    • 1
  • Estefanía Serral
    • 1
  • Jan Vanthienen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Decision Sciences and Information Management, Faculty of Economics and BusinessKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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