Leopold, Henrik, Sergey Smirnov and Jan Mendling

On the refactoring of activity labels in business process models

Information Systems, 37 (5): 459-443, (2012).

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1016/j.is.2012.01.004

Abstract: Large corporations increasingly utilize business process models for documenting and redesigning their operations. The extent of such modeling initiatives with several hundred models and dozens of often hardly trained modelers calls for automated quality assurance. While formal properties of control flow can easily be checked by existing tools, there is a notable gap for checking the quality of the textual content of models, in particular, its activity labels. In this paper, we address the problem of activity label quality in business process models. We designed a technique for the recognition of labeling styles, and the automatic refactoring of labels with quality issues. More specifically, we developed a parsing algorithm that is able to deal with the shortness of activity labels, which integrates natural language tools like WordNet and the Stanford Parser. Using three business process model collections from practice with differing labeling style distributions, we demonstrate the applicability of our technique. In comparison to a straightforward application of standard natural language tools, our technique provides much more stable results. As an outcome, the technique shifts the boundary of process model quality issues that can be checked automatically from syntactic to semantic aspects.

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