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W.M.P. van der Aalst - Process Mining

More and more information about processes is recorded in the form of event logs. Enterprise information systems, medical devices, RFID-based systems, web services, etc. are all collecting events related to the processes they support. This data explosion allows for the analysis of a wide variety of operational processes. Process mining provides a versatile and extendible way to analyze such processes. Using process mining techniques it is possible to extract different types of models from event logs, e.g., the construction of process models (various types of Petri nets), organizational models, performance models, etc. State-of-the-art process mining techniques are able to discover complex processes thus enabling organizations to understand and improve the way in which people work.

Process mining is not limited to discovery. Using conformance checking techniques existing models can also be compared with reality and enhanced with additional information, e.g., indicating bottlenecks in a process. Many vendors claim to offer support for Business Intelligence (BI). Unfortunately, these BI tools are not intelligent at all. Moreover, these tools require input data of a particular type and a predefined model. Process mining overcomes these limitations and makes it possible to extract new knowledge from information systems in a truly intelligent way. Hence, process mining techniques are being adopted by commercial tools such as BPM|one, Futura Reflect, ARIS PPM, Fujitsu Interstage, etc. Moreover, the IEEE recently established a task force on process mining.

Many process mining techniques use Petri nets to present the result and/or use Petri-net-based analysis/synthesis techniques. This is an exciting and challenging research area with lots of application possibilities and a huge interest from industry. This tutorial aims to provide an overview of process mining techniques and, using many real-life examples, it will be shown how particular techniques can be applied and what kind of insights such analyses provide.