Empirical investigation of the usefulness of Gateway constructs in process models

Recker, Jan C. (2013) Empirical investigation of the usefulness of Gateway constructs in process models. European Journal of Information Systems, 22(6), pp. 673-689.

View at publisher


Process modeling grammars are used to create scripts of a business domain that a process-aware information system is intended to support. A key grammatical construct of such grammars is known as a Gateway. A Gateway construct is used to describe scenarios in which the workflow of a process diverges or converges according to relevant conditions. Gateway constructs have been subjected to much academic discussion about their meaning, role and usefulness, and have been linked to both process-modeling errors and process-model understandability. This paper examines perceptual discriminability effects of Gateway constructs on an individual's abilities to interpret process models. We compare two ways of expressing two convergence and divergence patterns – Parallel Split and Simple Merge – implemented in a process modeling grammar. On the basis of an experiment with 98 students, we provide empirical evidence that Gateway constructs aid the interpretation of process models due to a perceptual discriminability effect, especially when models are complex. We discuss the emerging implications for research and practice, in terms of revisions to grammar specifications, guideline development and design choices in process modeling.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
6 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

48 since deposited on 29 Apr 2013
24 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 59428
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Process modeling, Visual expressiveness, Process model comprehension, Gateway constructs
DOI: 10.1057/ejis.2012.50
ISSN: 0960-085X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Operational Research Society Ltd.
Deposited On: 29 Apr 2013 05:04
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2014 12:36

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page