Modeling Styles in Business Process Modeling

  • Jakob Pinggera
  • Pnina Soffer
  • Stefan Zugal
  • Barbara Weber
  • Matthias Weidlich
  • Dirk Fahland
  • Hajo A. Reijers
  • Jan Mendling
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 113)


Research on quality issues of business process models has recently begun to explore the process of creating process models. As a consequence, the question arises whether different ways of creating process models exist. In this vein, we observed 115 students engaged in the act of modeling, recording all their interactions with the modeling environment using a specialized tool. The recordings of process modeling were subsequently clustered. Results presented in this paper suggest the existence of three distinct modeling styles, exhibiting significantly different characteristics. We believe that this finding constitutes another building block toward a more comprehensive understanding of the process of process modeling that will ultimately enable us to support modelers in creating better business process models.


business process modeling process of process modeling modeling styles cluster analysis 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Mendling, J.: Metrics for Process Models: Empirical Foundations of Verification, Error Prediction, and Guidelines for Correctness. Springer (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lindland, O.I., Sindre, G., Sølvberg, A.: Understanding Quality in Conceptual Modeling. IEEE Softw. 11, 42–49 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Krogstie, J., Sindre, G., Jørgensen, H.: Process models representing knowledge for action: a revised quality framework. EJIS 15, 91–102 (2006)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Van der Aalst, W., Ter Hofstede, A.: Verification of workflow task structures: A petri-net-baset approach. IS 25, 43–69 (2000)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gruhn, V., Laue, R.: Complexity metrics for business process models. In: Proc. ICBIS 2010, pp. 1–12 (2006)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Siau, K., Rossi, M.: Evaluation techniques for systems analysis and design modelling methods-a review and comparative analysis. ISJ 21, 249–268 (2011)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Moody, D.L.: The ”Physics” of Notations: Toward a Scientific Basis for Constructing Visual Notations in Software Engineering. IEEE Trans. Software Eng. 35, 756–779 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Soffer, P., Kaner, M., Wand, Y.: Towards Understanding the Process of Process Modeling: Theoretical and Empirical Considerations. In: Proc. ER-BPM 2011, pp. 357–369 (2011)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pinggera, J., Zugal, S., Weidlich, M., Fahland, D., Weber, B., Mendling, J., Reijers, H.A.: Tracing the process of process modeling with modeling phase diagrams. In: Proc. ER-BPM 2011, pp. 370–382 (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hoppenbrouwers, S.J.B.A., Proper, H.A., van der Weide, T.P.: A Fundamental View on the Process of Conceptual Modeling. In: Delcambre, L.M.L., Kop, C., Mayr, H.C., Mylopoulos, J., Pastor, Ó. (eds.) ER 2005. LNCS, vol. 3716, pp. 128–143. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Crapo, A.W., Waisel, L.B., Wallace, W.A., Willemain, T.R.: Visualization and the process of modeling: a cognitive-theoretic view. In: Proc. KDD 2000, pp. 218–226 (2000)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Morris, W.T.: On the Art of Modeling. Management Science 13, B–707–B–717 (1967)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Willemain, T.R.: Model Formulation: What Experts Think about and When. Operations Research 43, 916–932 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Newell, A., Simon, H.: Human problem Solving. Prentice Hall (1972)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Petre, M.: Why Looking Isn’t Always Seeing: Readership Skills and Graphical Programming. Commun. ACM, 33–44 (1995)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mendling, J., Reijers, H.A., Cardoso, J.: What Makes Process Models Understandable? In: Alonso, G., Dadam, P., Rosemann, M. (eds.) BPM 2007. LNCS, vol. 4714, pp. 48–63. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pinggera, J., Zugal, S., Weber, B.: Investigating the process of process modeling with cheetah experimental platform. In: Proc. ER-POIS 2010, pp. 13–18 (2010)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    MacQueen, J.: Some methods of classification and analysis of multivariate observations. In: Proc. Berkeley Symposium on Math., Stat., and Prob., pp. 281–297 (1967)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hamerly, G., Elkan, C.: Alternatives to the k-means algorithm that find better clusterings. In: Proc. CIKM 2002, pp. 600–607 (2002)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ericsson, K.A., Simon, H.A.: Protocol analysis: Verbal reports as data. MIT Press (1993)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Reijers, H., Mendling, J.: A study into the factors that influence the understandability of business process models. IEEE Transactions on Systems Man and Cybernetics, Part A 41, 449–462 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Cardoso, J.: Business process control-flow complexity: Metric, evaluation, and validation. JWSR 5, 49–76 (2008)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Becker, J., Rosemann, M., von Uthmann, C.: Guidelines of Business Process Modeling. In: van der Aalst, W.M.P., Desel, J., Oberweis, A. (eds.) Business Process Management. LNCS, vol. 1806, pp. 30–49. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mendling, J., Reijers, H.A., van der Aalst, W.M.P.: Seven process modeling guidelines (7pmg). Information & Software Technology 52, 127–136 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Frederiks, P., Weide, T.: Information modeling: The process and the required competencies of its participants. DKE 58, 4–20 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Rittgen, P.: Negotiating Models. In: Krogstie, J., Opdahl, A.L., Sindre, G. (eds.) CAiSE 2007. LNCS, vol. 4495, pp. 561–573. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Stirna, J., Persson, A., Sandkuhl, K.: Participative Enterprise Modeling: Experiences and Recommendations. In: Krogstie, J., Opdahl, A.L., Sindre, G. (eds.) CAiSE 2007. LNCS, vol. 4495, pp. 546–560. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jakob Pinggera
    • 1
  • Pnina Soffer
    • 2
  • Stefan Zugal
    • 1
  • Barbara Weber
    • 1
  • Matthias Weidlich
    • 3
  • Dirk Fahland
    • 3
  • Hajo A. Reijers
    • 4
  • Jan Mendling
    • 5
  1. 1.University of InnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.University of HaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Eindhoven University of TechnologyThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Technion - Israel Institute of TechnologyIsrael
  5. 5.Vienna University of Economics and BusinessAustria

Personalised recommendations