Structuring Behavior or Not, That is the Question
Process models aim to structure behavior for a variety of reasons: discussion, analysis, improvement, implementation, and automation. Traditionally, process models were obtained through modeling and structure could be enforced, e.g., by streamlining or simplifying processes. However, process discovery techniques that start from the actual behavior shed new light on this. These techniques return process models that are either formal (precisely describing the possible behaviors) or informal (merely a “picture” not allowing for any form of formal reasoning). Both types of model aim to structure reality. However, reality is often very different and much more variable than expected by stakeholders. Process mining often reveals an “inconvenient truth” which provides the valuable insights needed to improve a wide variety of processes. This contribution, devoted to Jörg Becker’s 60th birthday, reflects on the notion of “structure” in a world where event data are omnipresent.
KeywordsProcess mining Business process management Vagueness in models Process discovery
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