Exploring processes and deviations

Conference Contribution

Leemans, S.J.J., Fahland, D. & Aalst, van der, W.M.P. (2015). Exploring processes and deviations. In J. Mendling & F. Fournier (Eds.), Business Process Management Workshops : BPM 2014 International Workshops, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, September 7-8, 2014, Revised Papers (pp. 304-316). (Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, No. 202). Dordrecht: Springer. In Scopus Cited 13 times.

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In process mining, one of the main challenges is to discover a process model, while balancing several quality criteria. This often requires repeatedly setting parameters, discovering a map and evaluating it, which we refer to as process exploration. Commercial process mining tools like Disco, Perceptive and Celonis are easy to use and have many features, such as log animation, immediate parameter feedback and extensive filtering options, but the resulting maps usually have no executable semantics and due to this, deviations cannot be analysed accurately. Most more academically oriented approaches (e.g., the numerous process discovery approaches supported by ProM) use maps having executable semantics (models), but are often slow, make unrealistic assumptions about the underlying process, or do not provide features like animation and seamless zooming. In this paper, we identify four aspects that are crucial for process exploration: zoomability, evaluation, semantics, and speed. We compare existing commercial tools and academic workflows using these aspects, and introduce a new tool, that aims to combine the best of both worlds. A feature comparison and a case study show that our tool bridges the gap between commercial and academic tools.