Minutes of the Annual Meeting IEEE Task Force on Process Mining at BPM 2017 in Barcelona

Monday September 11th, 2017, 16.00-18.00, UPC Nord Campus, Vertex Building, Barcelona, Spain.

Please check the action points. Being part of this task force requires active participation!

1) Welcome

Wil van der Aalst welcomes the participants to the annual meeting. Over 60 persons joined the meeting acknowledging the interest in process mining. [Also see the pictures.] As usual the meeting was open to all interested. However, to become a member active participation is expected, e.g., promoting the use of process mining techniques and tools and stimulating new applications, playing a role in standardization efforts for logging event data, and organizing tutorials, special sessions, workshops, panels.

2) Overview of Activities and Developments in the Process Mining Space in 2016-2017 (Wil van der Aalst)

Over 70 organizations are supporting the IEEE Task Force on Process Mining. The interest in process mining is still growing. This is demonstrated by the growing number of tool vendors, applications, and publications (see graph taken from Scopus).

The goals and activities of the task force can be visualized using the above diagram.

A short discussion was devoted to each of the cells in the diagram.

The LinkedIn Group on PM (managed by George Varvaressos) now has 6248 members (increase of >1000 over the last year). TF members are encouraged to continue triggering discussions and sharing news, provide more case studies or war stories from users, and consider highlighting research outcomes interesting for a non-technical audience.

Action Point: All – Contribute to the LinkedIn Group on PM

The @processmining page at Facebook has 500 followers, mostly students and younger researchers. The page has a focus on teaching activities. Contact Joos Buijs / Dirk Fahland if you want to contribute as an administrator.

Action Point: All – Contribute to @processmining page at facebook with relevant news
Action Point: Contact Joos Buijs / Dirk Fahland if you want to contribute as an administrator.

The idea to collect blogs and link to them from the TF webpage was proposed. Example blogs are: https://fluxicon.com/blog/, https://blog.celonis.com/, etc. Benoît Depaire will come with a proposal and provide the input to start a page on our website.

Action Point: Benoît Depaire – Propose a plan and take actions to realize such a “meta blog”

The Business Process Intelligence (BPI) workshop series has been a highly successful. The many participants in Barcelona illustrate this. Boudewijn van Dongen has triggered the discussion to create a conference with the working title “International Conference on Process Mining” (ICPM). This suggestion was discussed extensively. Although several risks and possible problems were identified, the majority seemed to favor such an initiative. Some of the boundary conditions discussed were:

^ Action Point: Boudewijn van Dongen, Marcello La Rosa, Wil van der Aalst, et al. – Develop plans for an “International Conference on Process Mining” (ICPM) and its governance ^

The Best PhD thesis award was handed out in 2014 and 2015. This needs to be repositioned wrt to the new BPM Thesis award. This could become part of the new conference. For the moment, the award is “on hold”.

Several new data sets were uploaded (see slides).

The number of process mining tools is growing. One of the tasks of the TF is to promote the use of these tools. The TF could play an active role in the evaluation of tools. Based on the discussion it was decided that the TF will maintain a list of tools and do the XES certification (see later point on agenda).

Action Point: Wil van der Aalst – Maintain a list of process mining tools on the website, similar to the spreadsheet below
Action Point: All – Check above list and point out missing tools

The manifesto is available in 16 languages. Should there be a new one? There is the possibility for volunteers to initiate the creation of a new manifesto. Until there is a strong core group of volunteers, this is “on hold”.

Action Point: if you would like to drive such an initiative, contact Wil van der Aalst

There are now three dedicated process mining MOOCs (see slides): www.coursera.org/learn/process-mining, www.futurelearn.com/courses/process-mining, and www.futurelearn.com/courses/process-mining-healthcare.

See slides for the many other activities in the different cells.

Action Point: All – Provide successful case studies for website.
Action Point: All – Find new ways to further promote process mining in your country. Also help to promote each other activities. For example the on demand Process Mining Course https://www.coursera.org/course/procmin starting every four weeks.
Action Point: All Academics – Organize workshops & special sessions (see above). Make sure to have a good distribution over the year, and aim for easy to reach locations.

At the end Mieke Jans introduced a new initiative: a scientific process mining community sponsored by FWO. Scientific Research Community (SRC) is International network of researchers that encourage national (Belgian) and international cooperation at the postdoctoral level. See her slides for more information.

Researchers are encouraged to use the network of the TF to set up initiatives at the European level.

3) Process Mining in Spain (Josep Carmona)

Josep Carmona, also the host of this year’s BPM conference, provided an impressive overview of the many process mining initiatives in Spain. See slides for an overview.

4) XES Standardization and Certification (Eric Verbeek)

Eric Verbeek gave a short update on XES developments and then focused on XES certification. On November 11th, 2016, the IEEE Standards Association officially published the XES Standard as IEEE Std 1849TM-2016: IEEE Standard for eXtensible Event Stream (XES) for Achieving Interoperability 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. Recently, the XES WG accepted the XES Certification proposal distinguishing different levels of XES support for import and export.

Examples of tools supporting XES in some form include ProM, Celonis Process Mining, Disco, Icris Process Mining Factory, Minit, myInvenio, ProcessGold Enterprise Platform, QPR Process Analyzer, RapidProM, Rialto Process, and SNP Business Process Analysis. However, what does this mean? A more explicit statement and corresponding evaluation are needed. In short, it is now it is time to operationalize the certification process and the task force should play a key role in this.

Eric explained the different certification levels and discussed the organization. This involves concrete collections of logs and repeatable objective tests. The following process will be used:

  1. Report, by vendor
    • Template
  2. Demo, by vendor and XES WG rep
    • Preferably live, screencast acceptable
    • In case of issues: back to Report
  3. Approval, by XES WG
    • Within 2 weeks
  4. Publication, by XES WG rep
    • On the TF website

There are already templates available. The TF force agreed with the plans.

Action Point: Eric Verbeek and rest of the XES working group – Implement the certification process.
Action Point: All tool vendors/developers– Have your tool certified.

Aleksander Slominski from IBM T.J. Watson Research Center proposed to start a working group on developing a JSON-based Business Process Trace Representation (see slides). More information and a request for participation are available via https://goo.gl/ofKMhx. Such an initiative should build on XES and cannot replace existing certification activities.

5) Brainstorming Session on New TF Activities

This point was combined with 2). See action points there.

6) Closing / Social Program

The meeting was followed by a reception at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park.

The next meeting will take place in September 2018 in Sydney.

Action Point: All – Join Aleksander Slominski if you would like to have a JSON variant of XES.