Business Process Control-Flow Complexity: Metric, Evaluation, and Validation

Business Process Control-Flow Complexity: Metric, Evaluation, and Validation

Jorge Cardoso (University of Madeira, Portugal and SAP AG Research, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-684-1.ch022
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Organizations are increasingly faced with the challenge of managing business processes, workflows, and recently, Web processes. One important aspect of business processes that has been overlooked is their complexity. High complexity in processes may result in poor understandability, errors, defects, and exceptions, leading processes to need more time to develop, test, and maintain. Therefore, excessive complexity should be avoided. Business process measurement is the task of empirically and objectively assigning numbers to the properties of business processes in such a way so as to describe them. Desirable attributes to study and measure include complexity, cost, maintainability, and reliability. In our work, we will focus on investigating process complexity. We present and describe a metric to analyze the control-flow complexity of business processes. The metric is evaluated in terms of Weyuker’s properties in order to guarantee that it qualifies as good and comprehensive. To test the validity of the metric, we describe the experiment we have carried out for empirically validating the metric.

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