Skip to Main Content
To address the need for evaluation techniques for complex business processes, also known as workflows, this paper proposes an approach based on generalized stochastic Petri nets (GSPNs). We review ten related approaches published in the last fifteen years and compare them to our approach using a wide range of criteria. On the basis of this evaluation, we observe that the newly proposed approach provides results that are at least as good as those from the most accepted alternatives and holds a number of additional advantages, such as modeling simplicity, improved precision, and model reuse for qualitative analyses. The overall approach is formally defined in this paper, along with the definition of several performance metrics. Part of these metrics can be computed analytically, while the remainder can be obtained by simulating the GSPN. Furthermore, a tool has been developed to translate automatically business process execution language processes into GSPNs. Finally, we present a case study in which we applied the proposed approach, colored Petri net tools, and an industrial tool to obtain performance insights into a realistic workflow. The results were highly similar, demonstrating the feasibility and the accuracy of our approach.