Process Mining, Discovery, and Integration Using Distance Measures
Rouse, William B.
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Business processes continue to play an important role in today's service-oriented enterprise computing systems. Mining, discovering, and integrating process-oriented services has attracted growing attention in the recent year. In this paper we present a quantitative approach to modeling and capturing the similarity and dissimilarity between different workflow designs. Concretely, we introduce a graph-based distance measure and a framework for utilizing this distance measure to mine the process repository and discover workflow designs that are similar to a given design pattern or to produce one integrated workflow design by merging two or more business workflows of similar designs. We derive the similarity measures by analyzing the workflow dependency graphs of the participating workflow processes. Such an analysis is conducted in two phases. We first convert each workflow dependency graph into a normalized process network matrix. Then we calculate the metric space distance between the normalized matrices. This distance measure can be used as a quantitative and qualitative tool in process mining, process merging, and process clustering, and ultimately it can reduce or minimize the costs involved in design, analysis, and evolution of workflow systems.