Process Query Language: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation

20 Sep 2019  ·  Polyvyanyy Artem, ter Hofstede Arthur H. M., La Rosa Marcello, Ouyang Chun, Pika Anastasiia ·

Organizations can benefit from the use of practices, techniques, and tools from the area of business process management. Through the focus on processes, they create process models that require management, including support for versioning, refactoring and querying... Querying thus far has primarily focused on structural properties of models rather than on exploiting behavioral properties capturing aspects of model execution. While the latter is more challenging, it is also more effective, especially when models are used for auditing or process automation. The focus of this paper is to overcome the challenges associated with behavioral querying of process models in order to unlock its benefits. The first challenge concerns determining decidability of the building blocks of the query language, which are the possible behavioral relations between process tasks. The second challenge concerns achieving acceptable performance of query evaluation. The evaluation of a query may require expensive checks in all process models, of which there may be thousands. In light of these challenges, this paper proposes a special-purpose programming language, namely Process Query Language (PQL) for behavioral querying of process model collections. The language relies on a set of behavioral predicates between process tasks, whose usefulness has been empirically evaluated with a pool of process model stakeholders. This study resulted in a selection of the predicates to be implemented in PQL, whose decidability has also been formally proven. The computational performance of the language has been extensively evaluated through a set of experiments against two large process model collections. read more

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