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Information 2014, 5(2), 319-356; doi:10.3390/info5020319

An Interval-Valued Approach to Business Process Simulation Based on Genetic Algorithms and the BPMN

Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Largo Lucio Lazzarino 1, Pisa 56122, Italy
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Received: 11 September 2013 / Revised: 12 May 2014 / Accepted: 14 May 2014 / Published: 26 May 2014

Abstract

Simulating organizational processes characterized by interacting human activities, resources, business rules and constraints, is a challenging task, because of the inherent uncertainty, inaccuracy, variability and dynamicity. With regard to this problem, currently available business process simulation (BPS) methods and tools are unable to efficiently capture the process behavior along its lifecycle. In this paper, a novel approach of BPS is presented. To build and manage simulation models according to the proposed approach, a simulation system is designed, developed and tested on pilot scenarios, as well as on real-world processes. The proposed approach exploits interval-valued data to represent model parameters, in place of conventional single-valued or probability-valued parameters. Indeed, an interval-valued parameter is comprehensive; it is the easiest to understand and express and the simplest to process, among multi-valued representations. In order to compute the interval-valued output of the system, a genetic algorithm is used. The resulting process model allows forming mappings at different levels of detail and, therefore, at different model resolutions. The system has been developed as an extension of a publicly available simulation engine, based on the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) standard. View Full-Text
Keywords: BPMN; business process optimization; business process simulation; genetic algorithms; interval-valued parameter BPMN; business process optimization; business process simulation; genetic algorithms; interval-valued parameter
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cimino, M.G.; Vaglini, G. An Interval-Valued Approach to Business Process Simulation Based on Genetic Algorithms and the BPMN. Information 2014, 5, 319-356.

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