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Translating Workflow Nets to Process Trees: An Algorithmic Approach

: Zelst, S.J. van; Leemans, S.J.J.

Volltext ()

Algorithms 13 (2020), Nr.11, Art. 279, 27 S.
ISSN: 1999-4893
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer FIT ()

Since their introduction, process trees have been frequently used as a process modeling formalism in many process mining algorithms. A process tree is a (mathematical) tree-based model of a process, in which internal vertices represent behavioral control-flow relations and leaves represent process activities. Translation of a process tree into a sound workflow net is trivial. However, the reverse is not the case. Simultaneously, an algorithm that translates a WF-net into a process tree is of great interest, e.g., the explicit knowledge of the control-flow hierarchy in a WF-net allows one to reason on its behavior more easily. Hence, in this paper, we present such an algorithm, i.e., it detects whether a WF-net corresponds to a process tree, and, if so, constructs it. We prove that, if the algorithm finds a process tree, the language of the process tree is equal to the language of the original WF-net. The experiments conducted show that the algorithm’s corresponding implementation has a quadratic time complexity in the size of the WF-net. Furthermore, the experiments show strong evidence of process tree rediscoverability.