Examining the Superiority of the Imperative Process Modeling Approach compared to the Declarative Approach with regard to End User Understandability A Controlled Experiment

P. Pichler

Master’s thesis, School of Management, Information Systems, 2011.


Over the course of time, business process modeling has become an increasingly important task for many different purposes. Basically, it can be differentiated between imperative and declarative process modeling languages. Declarative process modeling languages are not yet popular in academic and industrial fields, but the interest in their advantages over traditional and well established imperative languages is growing. In particular, the declarative modeling paradigm is known for its ability to cope with the limited flexibility of the imperative modeling approach. However, there is still not much empirical insight into the actual strengths and the applicability of each modeling paradigm.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate if either the imperative or the declarative modeling approach is superior with respect to end-user understandability. Another objective is to examine the influence of imperative and declarative process models for completing different types of tasks.

The chosen type of research for this kind of empirical investigation is the scientific experiment. Students have to complete different tasks by means of both imperative and declarative process models. Based on the obtained results, it is not possible to concretely determine which process modeling approach is superior. However, it can be demonstrated that the different task categories do not respond as expected using imperative and declarative process models.


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