Business Process Model Abstraction

  • Artem PolyvyanyyEmail author
  • Sergey Smirnov
  • Mathias Weske
Part of the International Handbooks on Information Systems book series (INFOSYS)


In order to execute, study, or improve operational processes, 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 methodology 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.


Transformation Rule Business Process Model Process Instance Process Scenario Graph Transformation Rule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Artem Polyvyanyy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sergey Smirnov
    • 2
  • Mathias Weske
    • 3
  1. 1.Business Process Management DisciplineQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Hasso Plattner Institute of IT Systems Engineering Business Process Technology GroupUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Hasso Plattner Institute Business Process TechnologyUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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