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Enhancing event log quality: Detecting and quantifying timestamp imperfections

: Fischer, D.A.; Goel, K.; Andrews, R.; Dun, C.G.J. van; Wynn, M.T.; Röglinger, M.


Fahland, D.:
Business Process Management : 18th International Conference, BPM 2020 Seville, Spain, September 13–18, 2020. Proceedings
Cham: Springer, 2020 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 12168)
ISBN: 978-3-030-58665-2
ISBN: 978-3-030-58666-9
International Conference on Business Process Management (BPM) <18, 2020, Online>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer FIT ()

Timestamp information recorded in event logs plays a crucial role in uncovering meaningful insights into business process performance and behaviour via Process Mining techniques. Inaccurate or incomplete timestamps may cause activities in a business process to be ordered incorrectly, leading to unrepresentative process models and incorrect process performance analysis results. Thus, the quality of timestamps in an event log should be evaluated thoroughly before the log is used as input for any Process Mining activity. To the best of our knowledge, research on the (automated) quality assessment of event logs remains scarce. Our work presents an automated approach for detecting and quantifying timestamp-related issues (timestamp imperfections) in an event log. We define 15 metrics related to timestamp quality across two axes: four levels of abstraction (event, activity, trace, log) and four quality dimensions (accuracy, completeness, consistency, uniqueness). We adopted the design science research paradigm and drew from knowledge related to data quality as well as event log quality. The approach has been implemented as a prototype within the open-source Process Mining framework ProM and evaluated using three real-life event logs and involving experts from practice. This approach paves the way for a systematic and interactive enhancement of timestamp imperfections during the data pre-processing phase of Process Mining projects.