Improving understandability of declarative process models by revealing hidden dependencies

Johannes De Smedt, Jochen De Weerdt, Estefania Serral, Jan Vanthienen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Declarative process models have become a mature alternative to procedural ones. Instead of focusing on what has to happen, they rather follow an outside-in approach based on a rule base containing different types of constraints. The models are well-capable of representing flexible behavior, as everything that is not forbidden by the constraints in the model is possible during execution. These models, however, are more difficult to comprehend and require a higher mental effort of both the modeler and the reader. Since constraints can be added freely to the model, it is often overseen what impact the combination of them has. This is often referred to as hidden dependencies. This paper proposes a methodology to make these dependencies explicit for the declarative process modeling language Declare by considering a Declare model as a graph and relying on the constraints' characteristics. Moreover, this paper also contributes by empirically confirming that a tool that can visualize hidden dependency information on top of a Declare model has a significant positive impact on the understandability of Declare models.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Information Systems Engineering
Subtitle of host publication28th International Conference, CAiSE 2016, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 13-17, 2016. Proceedings
EditorsS Nurcan, P Soffer, M Bajec, J Eder
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-39695-8
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 May 2016
Event28th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAiSE) - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Duration: 13 Jun 201617 Jun 2016

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


Conference28th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAiSE)


  • declarative process modeling
  • declare
  • hidden dependencies
  • empirical evaluation

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