Stakeholder utility measures for declarative processes and their use in process comparisons

by   Mark Dukes, et al.

We present a method for calculating and analyzing stakeholder utilities of processes that arise in, but are not limited to, the social sciences. These areas include business process analysis, healthcare workflow analysis and policy process analysis. This method is quite general and applicable to any situation in which declarative-type constraints of a modal and/or temporal nature play a part. A declarative process is a process in which activities may freely happen while respecting a set of constraints. For such a process, anything may happen so long as it is not explicitly forbidden. Declarative processes have been used and studied as models of business and healthcare workflows by several authors. In considering a declarative process as a model of some system it is natural to consider how the process behaves with respect to stakeholders. We derive a measure for stakeholder utility that can be applied in a very general setting. This derivation is achieved by listing a collection a properties which we argue such a stakeholder utility function ought to satisfy, and then using these to show a very specific form must hold for such a utility. The utility measure depends on the set of unique traces of the declarative process, and calculating this set requires a combinatorial analysis of the declarative graph that represents the process. This builds on previous work of the author wherein the combinatorial diversity metrics for declarative processes were derived for use in policy process analysis. The collection of stakeholder utilities can themselves then be used to form a metric with which we can compare different declarative processes to one another. These are illustrated using several examples of declarative processes that already exist in the literature.


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