Conformance checking and performance improvement in scheduled processes: A queueing-network perspective

Arik Senderovich, Matthias Weidlich, Liron Yedidsion, Avigdor Gal, Avishai Mandelbaum, Sarah Kadish, Craig A. Bunnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

Service processes, for example in transportation, telecommunications or the health sector, are the backbone of today׳s economies. Conceptual models of service processes enable operational analysis that supports, e.g., resource provisioning or delay prediction. In the presence of event logs containing recorded traces of process execution, such operational models can be mined automatically. In this work, we target the analysis of resource-driven, scheduled processes based on event logs. We focus on processes for which there exists a pre-defined assignment of activity instances to resources that execute activities. Specifically, we approach the questions of conformance checking (how to assess the conformance of the schedule and the actual process execution) and performance improvement (how to improve the operational process performance). The first question is addressed based on a queueing network for both the schedule and the actual process execution. Based on these models, we detect operational deviations and then apply statistical inference and similarity measures to validate the scheduling assumptions, thereby identifying root-causes for these deviations. These results are the starting point for our technique to improve the operational performance. It suggests adaptations of the scheduling policy of the service process to decrease the tardiness (non-punctuality) and lower the flow time. We demonstrate the value of our approach based on a real-world dataset comprising clinical pathways of an outpatient clinic that have been recorded by a real-time location system (RTLS). Our results indicate that the presented technique enables localization of operational bottlenecks along with their root-causes, while our improvement technique yields a decrease in median tardiness and flow time by more than 20%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-206
Number of pages22
JournalInformation Systems
Volume62
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Conformance checking
  • Process improvement
  • Process mining
  • Queueing networks
  • Scheduled processes
  • Scheduling
  • Statistical inference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture

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