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Process mining approach to formal business process modelling and verification: a case study

Sohei Ito (School of Business Administration in Karvina, Silesian University in Opava, Karvina, Czech Republic)
Dominik Vymětal (School of Business Administration in Karvina, Silesian University in Opava, Karvina, Czech Republic)
Roman Šperka (School of Business Administration in Karvina, Silesian University in Opava, Karvina, Czech Republic)

Journal of Modelling in Management

ISSN: 1746-5664

Article publication date: 31 August 2020

Issue publication date: 25 May 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The need for assuring correctness of business processes in enterprises is widely recognised in terms of business process re-engineering and improvement. Formal methods are a promising approach to this issue. The challenge in business process verification is to create a formal model that is well-aligned to the reality. Process mining is a well-known technique to discover a model of a process based on facts. However, no studies exist that apply it to formal verification. This study aims to propose a methodology for formal business process verification by means of process mining, and attempts to clarify the challenges and necessary technologies in this approach using a case study.

Design/methodology/approach

A trading company simulation model is used as a case study. A workflow model is discovered from an event log produced by a simulation tool and manually complemented to a formal model. Correctness requirements of both domain-dependent and domain-independent types of the model are checked by means of model-checking.

Findings

For business process verification with both domain-dependent and domain-independent correctness requirements, more advanced process mining techniques that discover data-related aspects of processes are desirable. The choice of a formal modelling language is also crucial. It depends on the correctness requirements and the characteristics of the business process.

Originality/value

Formal verification of business processes starting with creating its formal model is quite new. Furthermore, domain-dependent and domain-independent correctness properties are considered in the same framework, which is also new. This study revealed necessary technologies for this approach with process mining.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Moravian and Silesian Region, Czech Republic.

This work was supported by the Moravian and Silesian Region (MSK), Czech Republic, under Grant 01204/2016/RRd.

Citation

Ito, S., Vymětal, D. and Šperka, R. (2021), "Process mining approach to formal business process modelling and verification: a case study", Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 602-622. https://doi.org/10.1108/JM2-03-2020-0077

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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