Systemic Business Process Simulation using Agent-based Simulation and BPMN

Jácint Duduka, Jácint Duduka, Sérgio Guerreiro, Sérgio Guerreiro

Abstract

The current paradigm of a business process model is that it is a representation of a sequence of tasks that act upon some data input, to produce an output, aiming the production of a new service or product to be delivered from a producer to a customer. Although this is a valid way of thinking, it neglects to consider in enough detail the influence of some phenomenon on inputs, e.g. human behaviour, communication, social interactions, the organisational culture which can have a significant effect on the output delivered by a business process. As the dynamics of these phenomena are non-linear, they can be interpreted as a complex system. This holistic way of thinking about business processes opens the doors to the possibility of combining different simulation methods to model different aspects that influence a process. A BPMN engine and an agent-based simulation (ABS) engine are chosen to serve the basis of our framework. In its conception, we not only consider the technical aspects of the framework but also delve into exploring its management and organizational dimensions, with the intent of facilitating its adoption in enterprises, as a tool to support decision support systems. We analyse how accurate the simulation results can be when using these two tools as well as what considerations need to be considered within organizations.

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