A graph-theoretic method for the inductive development of reference process models

Jana-Rebecca Rehse; Peter Fettke; Peter Loos
In: Software & Systems Modeling, Vol. tba, Pages 1-41, Springer, 2015.


Business process management is one of the most widely discussed topics in information systems research. As process models advance in both complexity and maturity, reference models, serving as reusable blueprints for the development of individual models, gain more and more importance. Only a few business domains have access to commonly accepted reference models, so there is a widespread need for the development of new ones. This article describes a new inductive approach for the development of reference models, based on existing individual models from the respective domain. It employs a graph-based paradigm, exploiting the underlying graph structures of process models by identifying frequent common subgraphs of the individual models, analyzing their order relations, and merging them into a new model. This newly developed approach is outlined and evaluated in this contribution. It is applied in three different case studies and compared to other approaches to the inductive development of reference models in order to highlight its characteristics as well as assets and drawbacks.

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