Andrea Burattin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Applicability of Process Mining Techniques in Business Environments

Abstract

This thesis analyses problems related to the applicability, in business environments, of Process Mining tools and techniques.

The first contribution is a presentation of the state of the art of Process Mining and a characterization of companies, in terms of their "process awareness". The work continues identifying circumstance where problems can emerge: data preparation; actual mining; and results interpretation. Other problems are the configuration of parameters by not-expert users and computational complexity.

We concentrate on two possible scenarios: "batch" and "on-line" Process Mining. Concerning the batch Process Mining, we first investigated the data preparation problem and we proposed a solution for the identification of the "case-ids" whenever this field is not explicitly indicated. After that, we concentrated on problems at mining time and we propose the generalization of a well-known control-flow discovery algorithm in order to exploit non instantaneous events. The usage of interval-based recording leads to an important improvement of performance. Later on, we report our work on the parameters configuration for not-expert users. We present two approaches to select the "best" parameters configuration: one is completely autonomous; the other requires human interaction to navigate a hierarchy of candidate models. Concerning the data interpretation and results evaluation, we propose two metrics: a model-to-model and a model-to-log. Finally, we present an automatic approach for the extension of a control-flow model with social information, in order to simplify the analysis of these perspectives.

The second part of this thesis deals with control-flow discovery algorithms in on-line settings. We propose a formal definition of the problem, and two baseline approaches. The actual mining algorithms proposed are two: the first is the adaptation, to the control-flow discovery problem, of a frequency counting algorithm; the second constitutes a framework of models which can be used for different kinds of streams (stationary versus evolving).

Paper Information and Files

Published in Alma Mater Digital Library. PhD Thesis, University of Bologna.

DOI: 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5446