ProM 6 tutorial

Introduction

This tutorial shows how to use ProM 6 to answer some of the common questions that managers have about processes in organizations. First, the questions] are listed. To answer these questions, we use the process mining plug-ins supported in ProM 6. This tool is open-source and it can be downloaded for free. For the reader unfamiliar with process mining, second we provide a concise introduction. Third, all the questions listed are answered based on an event log from the running example.

We advice you to have ProM 6 at hand while reading this tutorial. This way you can play with the tool while reading the explanations. For this, please see the ProM 6 getting started page.

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Inspecting and Cleaning an Event Log

Before applying any mining technique to an event log, we recommend you to first get an idea of the information in this event log. The main reason for this is that you can only answer certain questions if the data is in the log. For instance, you cannot calculate the throughput time of cases if the log does not contain information about the dates and times on which tasks were executed. Additionally, you may want to remove unnecessary information from the log before you start the mining. For instance, you may be interested in mining only information about the cases that have completed. For our running example, all cases without an archiving task as the last one are still running cases and should not be considered. The cleaning step is usually a projection of the log to consider only the data you are interested in. Thus, in this section we show how you can inspect and clean (or pre-process) an event log in ProM 6. Furthermore, we show how you can save the results of the cleaned log, so that you avoid redoing work.

The questions answered in this Section are summarized in the table below. As you can see, the first section shows how to answer questions related to log inspection and the second section explains how to filter an event log and how to save your work. Note that the list of questions in the table is not exhaustive, but they are enough to give you an idea of the features offered by ProM 6 for log inspection and filtering.

Question Section
How many cases (or process instances) are in the log? First
How many tasks (or audit trail entries) are in the log? First
How many resources are in the log? First
Are there running cases in the log? First
Which resources work on which tasks? First
How can I filter the log so that only completed cases are kept? Second
How can I see the result of my filtering? Second
How can I save the pre-processed log so that I do not have to redo work? Second

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Questions Answered Based on an Event Log Only

Now that you know how to inspect and pre-process an event log, we proceed with showing how to answer the questions related to the discovery plug-ins. Recall that a log is the only input for these kinds of plug-ins.

The questions answered in this Section are summarized in the table below. The first section shows how to mine the control-flow perspective of process models. The second matrix explains how to mine information regarding certain aspects of cases. The third section describes how to mine information related to the roles/employees in the event log.

Question Section
How are the cases actually being executed? First
What is the most frequent path for every process model? Second
How is the distribution of all cases over the different paths through the process? Second
How many people are involved in a case? Third
What is the communication structure and dependencies among people? Third
How many transfers happen from one role to another role? Third
Who are the important people in the communication flow? Third
Who subcontract work to whom? Third
Who work on the same tasks? Third

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Conclusions

This tutorial showed how to use the different ProM 6 plug-ins to answer common questions about process models. Since our focus was on this set of questions, we have not covered many of the other plug-ins that are in ProM 6.

We hope that the subset we have shown in this tutorial will help you in finding your way in ProM 6. ProM 6 can be downloaded from the menu on the left.

References

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W.M.P. van der Aalst and K.M. van Hee. Workflow Management: Models, Methods, and Systems. MIT press, Cambridge, MA, 2002.
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Workflow Management Coalition. WFMC Home Page. http://www.wfmc.org.
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M. Dumas, W.M.P. van der Aalst, and A.H. ter Hofstede, editors. Process-Aware Information Systems: Bridging People and Software Through Process Technology. John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2005.
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T. Murata. Petri Nets: Properties, Analysis and Applications.Proceedings of the IEEE, 77(4):541{580, April 1989.
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W. Reisig and G. Rozenberg, editors. Lectures on Petri Nets I: Basic Models, volume 1491 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1998.
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H.M.W. Verbeek, B.F. van Dongen, J. Mendling, and W.M.P. van der Aalst. Interoperability in the ProM Framework. In T. Latour and M. Petit, editors, Proceedings of the CAiSE'06 Workshops and Doctoral Consortium , pages 619-630, Luxembourg, June 2006. Presses Universitaires de Namur.