Sometimes Less is More: Are Process Modeling Languages Overly Complex?

zur Muehlen, Michael, Recker, Jan C., & Indulska, Marta (2007) Sometimes Less is More: Are Process Modeling Languages Overly Complex? In Taveter, Kuldar & Gasevic, Dragan (Eds.) 3rd International Workshop on Vocabularies, Ontologies and Rules for The Enterprise, 15 October 2007, Annapolis, Maryland.

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Modern business process modeling languages such as BPMN or EPC provide users with more constructs to represent real world situations than their predecessors such as IDEF or Petri Nets. But this apparent increase in expressiveness is accompanied by an increase in language complexity. In practice many organizations choose to only use a subset of the available modeling constructs. Using a well-established ontology-based theory of representation, we analyze how this voluntary restriction affects the expressiveness and complexity of the resulting modeling vocabulary. We compare our empirical findings with two notation sets of the popular language BPMN – the core and full set. Our findings indicate that users are willing to accept ambiguity among modeling constructs and that the full element set of BPMN adds little expressiveness at the expense of considerably decreased ontological clarity. The findings are a first step towards an understanding of an optimal cost-effectiveness ratio for process modeling languages- both in theory and practice.

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ID Code: 12269
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: process modelling, complexity, BPMN, Bunge, Wand, Weber
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Conceptual Modelling (080603)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 IEEE
Copyright Statement: Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
Deposited On: 30 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:33

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