On managing business processes variants

Ruopeng Lu, Shazia Sadiq, Guido Governatori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Variance in business process execution can be the result of several situations, such as disconnection between documented models and business operations, workarounds in spite of process execution engines, dynamic change and exception handling, flexible and ad-hoc requirements, and collaborative and/or knowledge intensive work. It is imperative that effective support for managing process variances be extended to organizations mature in their BPM (business process management) uptake so that they can ensure organization wide consistency, promote reuse and capitalize on their BPM investments. This paper presents an approach for managing business processes that is conducive to dynamic change and the need for flexibility in execution. The approach is based on the notion of process constraints. It further provides a technique for effective utilization of the adaptations manifested in process variants. In particular, we will present a facility for discovery of preferred variants through effective search and retrieval based on the notion of process similarity, where multiple aspects of the process variants are compared according to specific query requirements. The advantage of this approach is the ability to provide a quantitative measure for the similarity between process variants, which further facilitates various BPM activities such as process reuse, analysis and discovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-664
Number of pages23
JournalData and Knowledge Engineering
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


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