Although software systems used to automate business processes have been becoming rather advanced, the existing practice of developing and modifying graphical process models in those software systems is still primitive: users have to manually add, change, or delete each node and arc piece by piece. Since such manual operations are typically tedious, time‐consuming, and prone to errors, it is desirable to develop an alternative approach. This paper aims to address this issue.
In this paper, a novel, human‐understandable process manipulation language (PML) for specifying operations (e.g. insertion, deletion, merging, and split) on process models is developed. A prototype system to demonstrate PML is also developed.
The paper finds that manipulation operations on process models can be standardized and, thus, can be facilitated and automated through using a structured language like PML.
PML can improve manipulation operations on process models over the existing manual approach in two aspects: first, using PML, users only need to specify what operations are to be performed on process models, and then a computer carries out specified operations as well as performs other routine operations (e.g. generating nodes and arcs). This feature minimizes user effort to deal with low‐level details on nodes and arcs. Second, using PML, users can systematically specify operations on process models, thus reducing arbitrary operations and problems in process models.
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