Expressiveness and Understandability Considerations of Hierarchy in Declarative Business Process Models

S. Zugal, P. Soffer, J. Pinggera and B. Weber

In: Proc. BPMDS '12, pp. 167–181, 2012.

Abstract. Hierarchy has widely been recognized as a viable approach to deal with the complexity of conceptual models. For instance, in declarative business process models, hierarchy is realized by sub-processes. While technical implementations of declarative sub-processes exist, their application, semantics, and the resulting impact on understandability are less understood yet--this research gap is addressed in this work. In particular, we discuss the semantics and the application of hierarchy and show how sub-processes enhance the expressiveness of declarative modeling languages. Then, we turn to the impact on the understandability of hierarchy on a declarative process model. To systematically assess this impact, we present a cognitive-psychology based framework that allows to assess the possible impact of hierarchy on the understandability of the process model.


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Stefan Zugal
Jakob Pinggera
Barbara Weber