News Column

"Process Model Visualization Methods" in Patent Application Approval Process

July 3, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent application by the inventors Jojgov, Gueorgui Ivanov (Eindhoven, NL); van den Brand, Petrus Cornelis Wilhelmus ('s-Hertogenbosch, NL), filed on May 15, 2013, was made available online on June 19, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Perceptive Software Research And Development B.v.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure relates generally to process modeling, and more particularly to process model visualization.

"Businesses often record or store data or information, such as in a data log, relating to business or workflow processes implemented in a system. This type of data may be highly valuable to a company desiring to better understand the workflows involved in accomplishing a particular process goal by providing insight on how existing processes are being implemented by users of the system. This data may also help a company in determining whether its current processes are operating as intended, identifying bottlenecks or areas which need improvement or affect the efficiency of the process and/or assessing the effect of process changes.

"In order to help businesses better understand their business or workflow processes more effectively, the processes may be automatically modeled using actual process data. Additional insight on the efficiencies and effectiveness of a process may be gleaned if at least two processes can be compared. For example, such comparisons may be used to more readily identify similarities and distinguish differences between two processes. They may also more readily demonstrate the effects of a modification on a process or validate whether a process is being executed as intended. This comparison may be between a process model and a process generated from actual process data. It may also be a comparison of the process using data from two different periods of time. The comparison may also be between an original process and a modified version of such process.

"Thus, what is needed is a system and method for automatically, effectively and efficiently visualizing multiple processes or a single process at multiple points in time from a set of raw data and a method and a system for comparing process models across different departments, countries, business units, time period, and many others. The system and method may automatically compare different instances of a process (e.g., how purchasing processes differ for various products, price ranges, etc.) and visually present the differences and similarities between at least two process models. Such system and method for visualizing data in model form is needed for identifying deviations from the defined boundaries or expectations that a company may have for implemented business processes."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "A system capable of and methods for automatically creating visual displays and comparing processes are disclosed herein. Comparisons may be made using model data and/or real raw data. In one example embodiment, the comparison may be between a process model and a process generated from actual process data. In another example embodiment, the comparison may be between multiple processes. In yet another example embodiment, the comparison may of a single process using data from two different periods of time. In still another embodiment, the comparison may also be between a process and a modified version of such process.

"According to one example embodiment, the method of comparing process models includes receiving at least two process models. The method also includes comparing the states and the transitions of the at least two process models, identifying similarities and differences in the states and the transitions of the at least two process models and visually representing the at least two process models in a user interface, wherein the differences in the states and the transitions of the at least two process models are indicated in a format different from a format that indicates similarities in the transitions and the states of the at least two process models.

"In one aspect of the first embodiment, the method may include mining a data set to generate at least one of the at least two process models. In another aspect, the identifying the similarities in the at least two process models may include identifying labels common to the state of the at least two process models. In yet another aspect, the format for indicating the differences may be a first color and the format for indicating the similarities may be a second color.

"In another aspect of the first embodiment, the format for indicating the differences may be a first line type and the format for indicating the similarities may be a second line type. In another aspect, the format for indicating the differences may be a first pattern and the format for indicating the similarities may be a second pattern. In yet another aspect, the visually representing the at least two process models may include visually representing the at least two process models as a single process model.

"In another aspect of the embodiment, the single process model may show the differences in a format different from a format that shows the similarities. In another aspect, the visually representing the at least two process models may include positioning the states and the transition occurring in a first process model in a layout that preserves a structure of the first process model. In yet another aspect, performance information regarding the at least two process models may be displayed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of the disclosed embodiments, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and will be better understood by reference to the following description of the disclosed embodiments in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. Like reference numerals are used to indicate the same element throughout the specification.

"FIG. 1 is one example embodiment for process model visualization.

"FIG. 2 is one example process for use in the process model visualization of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 3 is a second example process for use in the process model visualization of FIG. 1.

"FIG. 4 is one example combined process model visualization of the example processes of FIGS. 2 and 3, with the example process of FIG. 2 as the reference process.

"FIG. 5 is a second example combined process model visualization of the example processes of FIGS. 2 and 3, with the example process of FIG. 3 as the reference process.

"FIG. 6 is one example embodiment of a method of positioning states and transitions that occur in one process but not a second process when comparing two or more process models.

"FIG. 7 is a second example combined process model visualization of the example processes of FIGS. 2 and 3, with the example process model of FIG. 2 as the reference process, in accordance with another aspect of the present disclosure.

"FIG. 8 is a third example combined process model visualization of the example processes of FIGS. 2 and 3, with the example process model of FIG. 2 as the reference process, in accordance with another aspect of the present disclosure."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Jojgov, Gueorgui Ivanov; van den Brand, Petrus Cornelis Wilhelmus. Process Model Visualization Methods. Filed May 15, 2013 and posted June 19, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1201&p=25&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140612.PD.&OS=PD/20140612&RS=PD/20140612

Keywords for this news article include: Perceptive Software Research And Development B.v..

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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