Unraveling Unstructured Business Process Models


In the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) and in similar notations, a process model is composed of nodes (e.g. tasks, events, gateways) connected by directed arcs. Although these notations allow process models to have almost any topology, it is often preferable that process models follow some structure. In this respect, a well-known property of process models is that of well-structuredness, meaning that for every node with multiple outgoing arcs (a split) there is a corresponding node with multiple incoming arcs (a join), such that the set of nodes between the split and the join form a single-entry-single-exit region. In other words, a well-structured process model is composed of nested blocks.Many process models found in practice are not well-structured, and it is not always feasible or even desirable to restrict process modelers to produce only well-structured models. An alternative to forcing modelers to produce well-structured process models, is to automatically transform unstructured models into well-structured ones. This talk will present a characterization of the class of unstructured process models that can be transformed into an equivalent structured model, as well as a complete transformation method.


Prof. Marlon Dumas
Software Engineering Group
University of Tartu, Estonia

Date & Time

24 Jan 2011 (Monday) 11:00



Organized by

Department of Computer and Information Science


Marlon Dumas is Professor of Software Engineering at University of Tartu, Estonia. He is also Strategic Area Leader at the Software Technology and Applications Competence Centre (www.stacc.ee) - a collaborative research center that gathers 10 Estonian IT companies and two universities with the aim of conducting leading edge R&D in software services engineering and data mining. From 2000 to 2007, he held various academic appointments at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. He has also been visiting researcher at SAP Research, visiting professor at University of Grenoble (France), and now Visiting Scholar at University of Macau. Marlon Dumas conducts research in the fields of Service-Oriented Computing and Business Process Management. He has co-authored close to 150 refereed research papers and 3 patents in these fields. He is also co-editor of a textbook on Process-Aware Information Systems.