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Efficient Consistency Measurement Based on Behavioral Profiles of Process Models

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3 Author(s)
Weidlich, M. ; Hasso-Plattner-Inst., Univ. of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany ; Mendling, J. ; Weske, M.

Engineering of process-driven business applications can be supported by process modeling efforts in order to bridge the gap between business requirements and system specifications. However, diverging purposes of business process modeling initiatives have led to significant problems in aligning related models at different abstract levels and different perspectives. Checking the consistency of such corresponding models is a major challenge for process modeling theory and practice. In this paper, we take the inappropriateness of existing strict notions of behavioral equivalence as a starting point. Our contribution is a concept called behavioral profile that captures the essential behavioral constraints of a process model. We show that these profiles can be computed efficiently, i.e., in cubic time for sound free-choice Petri nets w.r.t. their number of places and transitions. We use behavioral profiles for the definition of a formal notion of consistency which is less sensitive to model projections than common criteria of behavioral equivalence and allows for quantifying deviation in a metric way. The derivation of behavioral profiles and the calculation of a degree of consistency have been implemented to demonstrate the applicability of our approach. We also report the findings from checking consistency between partially overlapping models of the SAP reference model.

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 3 )