Friendly Change Extraction for BPMN Workflows

TitleFriendly Change Extraction for BPMN Workflows
Publication TypeChart
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBranco, M., Y. Xiong, K. Czarnecki, A. Lau, and P. Coulthard
Image Source ProgramIBM TechConnect
Name of FilePoster
Date Published05/2011
CityMarkham, ON, Canada


A key need in collaborative workflow modeling is the identification of changes made independently by several stakeholders on a reference model. We present a heuristic approach for change extraction on BPMN workflows, which does not rely on change history, neither on model element identifiers. Our algorithm extracts changes by finding both a match between the nodes of the compared two process structure trees and a minimum edit script that can transform one tree into the other given the computed matching. As a result, we can identify fine-grained change types between workflow versions by means of human-readable and intuitive operations, such as insert, delete, update and move. We evaluated our approach by replaying 38 real change scenarios and the algorithm produced minimum edit scripts in 72 percent of the cases.


- Find the difference between two BPMN workflow models without relying on change history or unique element identifiers.

- Present individual changes by means of human-readable and intuitive operations such as insert, delete, move and update.

- Optimize the number of operations for producing the minimum edit script that can be applied to one workflow to obtain the other.

IBM TechConnect 2011 Poster.pdf3.11 MB