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Discover process map

Author: Raffaele Conforti

This plugin allows users to discover a process map from an event log. A process map (a.k.a. directly-follows graph) is a visual representation of the log as a graph where nodes capture process activities and directed arcs between these nodes capture sequential order relations between activities. For example, an arc going from activity “Accept order” to activity “Check order” indicates that in the log it has been observed that process cases flow from “Accept order” to “Check order”. Process maps are a simple yet effective means to understand the basic order relationships between process activities. As such, they are the most common type of model discovered by commercial process mining tools.

To use the plugin, double-click on a log. Alternatively, you can select a log from the repository and click on “Discover>Discover process map”.

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A window will open up, showing the process map discovered from the log.

Process Maps1

Using the two sliders at the top, one can adjust the complexity of the discovered map by increasing and/or reducing the frequency of activities and arcs that are visualized in the map. This will lead to more, or less, activities and arcs. For example, this abstraction mechanism can be used to focus on the most frequent process paths. The default values for these sliders are Activities = 100%, Arcs = 0%.

Process Maps2

The plugin provides simple statistics on the event log such us the total, minimum and maximum number of times an activity is executed. This information is provided both as a label on the activities/arcs as well as encoded in the color of activities (the darker the blue color, the higher the number of times that activity has been observed in the log) and in the thickness of arcs (the thicker the black line, the higher the frequency of that arc). To change what statistics to show, use the Frequency drop-down list on the top bar.

Process Maps3

Statistics are also provided on the time performance of the activities and arcs in the process map. These are average, minimum and maximum duration of each arc (indicating the waiting time before starting a given activity, once the previous one has been completed), and average, minimum and maximum duration of an activity (a.k.a. the activity’s processing time). If the log only has completion timestamps for each activity, and not their start timestamp, these performance statistics will combine both processing time and waiting time into a single time statistics visualized on the arc, while activities will be shown as having an instantaneous duration.

Similar to frequency statistics, time performance statistics are also visualized via labels on activities and arcs, as well as via colors and line thickness (on a red scale) for activities and arcs.

Process Maps5

A discovered process map can be exported as a PDF file by clicking on the Download button. The Animate button allows one to replay the log on top of the process map, using the Animate a log on top of process map plugin.

Example logs for this plugin can be found in folder “4TU Center Event Logs” of the Apromore repository.

For an advanced analysis of the behavioral relations between process activities we suggest to use the Discover BPMN model plugin.