Certification for the XES Standard

On November 11th, 2016, the IEEE Standards Association has officially published the XES Standard as IEEE Std 1849TM-2016: IEEE Standard for eXtensible Event Stream (XES) for Achieving Interopability in Event Logs and Event Streams. The IEEE Task Force on Process Mining has been driving the standardization process for over six years, because the standard allows for the exchange of event data between different process mining tools.

Through the XES Standard, event data to be transported from the location where it was generated to the location where it can be stored and analyzed, without losing semantics. The XES Standard enforces that this transport and storage is done in a standardized way, that is, in a way that is clear and well-understood. Next to providing a standardized syntax and semantics, the XES Standard also allows for extensions, e.g., adding cost information or domain specific attributes to events.

Process Mining and XES

Process mining is an emerging discipline providing comprehensive sets of tools to provide fact-based insights and to support process improvements. This new discipline builds on process model-driven approaches and data mining. Process mining provides a generic collection of techniques to turn event data into valuable insights, improvement ideas, predictions, and recommendations. Starting point for any process mining effort is a collection of events commonly referred to as an event log (although events can also be stored in a database and may be only available as an event stream). A wide range of process mining techniques is available to extract value and actionable information from event data. Process discovery techniques take an event log or event stream as input and produce a process model without using any a-priori information. Conformance checking can be used to check if reality, reflected by the event data, conforms to a predefined process model and vice versa. Process mining can also be used to extend process models with performance-related information, e.g., bottlenecks, waste, and costs. It is event possible to predict problems and suggest actions.

Currently, there are over 25 commercial process mining tools. In fact, the adoption of process mining has been accelerating in recent years. Currently, there are about 25 software vendors offering process mining tools. Tools like Disco (Fluxicon), Celonis Process Mining, ProcessGold Enterprise Platform, Minit, myInvenio, Signavio Process Intelligence, QPR ProcessAnalyzer, LANA Process Mining, Rialto Process, Icris Process Mining Factory, Worksoft Analyze & Process Mining for SAP, SNP Business Process Analysis, webMethods Process Performance Manager, and Perceptive Process Mining are now available. Moreover, open source tools like ProM, ProM Lite, and RapidProM are widely used. It is vital that event data can be exchanged between these tools. Several of these tools already support XES. For example, it is easy to exchange XES data between Disco, Celonis, ProM, Rialto Process, minit, and SNP.

Assignment

Your assignment is to create a XES certification mechanism for the tools that support the XES Standard, and to provide XES certificates for as many tools as possible using this mechanism. This certification mechanism should test to what extent the different features of the XES Standard are supported by the tools. For example, does the tool offer support for the classifiers in the log? Some tools may not offer this support, and might depend on the fact that the most-used attributes are present in the log. The issued XES certificate for a tool should state clearly which features of the XES standard are supported by that tool.

Contact

For more information on the project, please contact Eric Verbeek.