Business Process Model Abstraction

Chapter
Part of the International Handbooks on Information Systems book series (INFOSYS)

Abstract

In order to execute, study, or improve operating procedures, companies document them as business process models. Often, business process analysts capture every single exception handling or alternative task handling scenario within a model. Such a tendency results in large process specifications. The core process logic becomes hidden in numerous modeling constructs. To fulfill different tasks, companies develop several model variants of the same business process at different abstraction levels. Afterwards, maintenance of such model groups involves a lot of synchronization effort and is erroneous. We propose an abstraction technique that allows generalization of process models. Business process model abstraction assumes a detailed model of a process to be available and derives coarse-grained models from it. The task of abstraction is to tell significant model elements from insignificant ones and to reduce the latter. We propose to learn insignificant process elements from supplementary model information, e.g., task execution time or frequency of task occurrence. Finally, we discuss a mechanism for user control of the model abstraction level – an abstraction slider.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business Process Technology Group, Hasso Plattner Institute of IT Systems EngineeringUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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