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A Family of Case Studies on Business Process Mining

Business processes, most of which are automated by information systems, have become a key asset in organizations. Unfortunately, uncontrolled maintenance implies that information systems age over time until they need to be modernized. During software modernization, ageing systems cannot be entirely discarded because they gradually embed meaningful business knowledge, which is not present in any other artifact. This paper presents a technique for recovering business processes from legacy systems in order to preserve that knowledge. The technique statically analyzes source code and generates a code model, which is later transformed by pattern matching into a business process model. This technique has been validated over a two year period in several industrial modernization projects. This paper reports the results of a family of case studies that were performed to empirically validate the technique using analysis and meta-analysis techniques. The study demonstrates the effectiveness and efficiency of the technique.

A fine-grained analysis of the support provided by UML class diagrams and ER diagrams during data model maintenance

This paper presents the results of an empirical study aiming at comparing the support provided by ER and UML class diagrams during maintenance of data models. We performed one controlled experiment and two replications that focused on comprehension activities and another controlled experiment on modification activities related to the implementation of given change requests. The results achieved were analyzed at a fine-grained level aiming at comparing the support given by each single building block of the two notations. Such an analysis is used to identify weaknesses (i.e., building blocks not easy to comprehend) in a notation and/or can justify the need of preferring ER or UML for data modeling. The analysis revealed that the UML class diagrams generally provided a better support for both comprehension and modification activities performed on data models as compared to ER diagrams. Nevertheless, the former has some weaknesses related to three building blocks, i.e., multi-value attribute, composite attribute, and weak entity. These findings suggest that an extension of UML class diagrams should be considered to overcome these weaknesses and improve the support provided by UML class diagrams during maintenance of data models.