Imperative versus Declarative Process Modeling Languages: An Empirical Investigation

P. Pichler, B. Weber, S. Zugal, J. Pinggera, J. Mendling and H. Reijers

In: Proc. ER-BPM'11, pp. 383–394, 2012.

Abstract. Streams of research are emerging that emphasize the advantages of using declarative process modeling languages over more traditional, imperative approaches. In particular, the declarative modeling approach is known for its ability to cope with the limited flexibility of the imperative approach. However, there is still not much empirical insight into the actual strengths and the applicability of each modeling paradigm. In this paper, we investigate in an experimental setting if either the imperative or the declarative process modeling approach is superior with respect to process model understanding. Even when task types are considered that should better match one or the other, our study finds that imperative process modeling languages appear to be connected with better understanding.

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