Business process model abstraction: a definition, catalog, and survey

Abstract

The discipline of business process management aims at capturing, understanding, and improving work in organizations by using process models as central artifacts. Since business-oriented tasks require different information from such models to be highlighted, a range of abstraction techniques has been developed over the past years to manipulate overly detailed models. At this point, a clear understanding of what distinguishes these techniques and how they address real world use cases has not yet been established. In this paper we systematically develop, classify, and consolidate the use cases for business process model abstraction and present a case study to illustrate the value of this technique. The catalog of use cases that we present is based on a thorough evaluation of the state of the art, as well as on our cooperation with end users in the health insurance sector. It has been subsequently validated by experts from the consultancy and tool vendor domains. Based on our findings, we evaluate how the existing business process model abstraction approaches support the discovered use cases and reveal which areas are not adequately covered, as such providing an agenda for further research in this area.

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