MobIS-Challenge for Students and Doctoral Candidates: Model-Based Compliance in Information Systems

Introduction

Nowadays, business processes are increasingly carried out digitally, with the help of IT systems. This not only allows for an easier reconstruction of processes based on the built-in logging mechanisms. It also facilitates to identify violations of internal or external compliance rules. In this context, new research streams have emerged to develop new methods and techniques to analyze the process data logged by an IT system and to use the gained insights for the benefit of the company. Against this backdrop, the participants of the MobIS-Challenge are supposed to identify different opportunities to use IT tools for analyzing and improving process compliance, for example by examining the compliance of an existing process and pointing out its weaknesses.

The participants (students and doctoral candidates) shall analyze the data set provided below with IT tools of their choice (e.g. existing process mining tools, BPM solutions, but also self-developed programs) to identify compliance violations and problematic incidents and to provide solutions for securing the compliance of a future as-is-process. In addition, they are welcome to identify weaknesses in the process or the organization beyond conformance issues and make suggestion for their improvement. The challenge submissions will be examined and compared regarding their results and selected method for addressing the task on hand. The best solutions will be presented during the workshop.

Data

The provided process log describes the execution of a business travel management process in a medium-sized consulting company. This process is fully covered and logged by the company’s internal workflow management system, for which each employee has access. The tasks and rights are assigned according to the employee’s role in the company (normal employee, manager, director, etc.). An internal travel department is responsible for booking the business trips, in accordance with the respective employee.

The process consists of two parts, planning before the trip and accounting for expenses after it. For planning a trip, its dates and expected costs are specified first. If the help of the travel department is required, a preliminary price inquiry can be issued first. When the costs are known, a formal business trip request is filed, which has to be approved by the manager. As soon as the trip has been approved, the trip can be booked. After the trip, the travel expenses have to be accounted for. Therefore, potentially incurred cost positions are proved with a receipt and a travel expense report is generated, which again has to be approved by the manager. After the approval, travel expenses are reimbursed by the accounting department.

Regarding the process compliance, the company has given itself a number of compliance rules, which are checked in an annual review. Employees are only allowed to take business trips which are necessary for the project. This necessity is checked by the respective manager. Employees should estimate their travel-related costs as realistically as possible, to facilitate travel controlling. Trips are approved by means of the four-eye-principle. To ensure accurate books and accounts, travel expenses should be reported as soon as possible after the end of a trip. To control compliance with those rules, the company has collected all travel-related system data from 2017 into the provided log.

The log data can be downloaded here.

For citing the data please use the following format:

Martin Scheid, Jana-Rebecca Rehse, Constantin Houy & Peter Fettke (2018): Data Set for MobIS Challenge 2019. German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), https://bpm.dfki.de/mobis-challenge/ (accessed on DATE). doi: 10.13140/RG.2.2.11870.28487

Task and lead questions

In the MobIS-Challenge, participants shall analyze the provided process log data with any available methods or techniques to fulfill the following tasks or answer the following questions:

  1. Describe the process depicted in the log in detail, e.g. using graphical means. From this description, derive meaningful compliance rules that go beyond the above process description.
  2. Which compliance violations can be found in the data? How can these be prevented?
  3. Beyond compliance issues, which weaknesses in the process or the organization can be found in the data? How could these be improved?
  4. Which additional insights can be drawn from the data? You can use any tool to develop interesting additional insights in a creative way.

Presentation of Results

The results should be presented in written form (pdf document) using the general LNCS paper template (https://www.springer.com/de/it-informatik/lncs/conference-proceedings-guidelines) and either English or German language.

  1. In the first step, extended abstracts describing the intended methods and tools to fulfill the above tasks and interesting preliminary results should be submitted. Extended abstracts should not exceed 3 pages of length.
  2. If the extended abstract was accepted, the authors should prepare a complete and more detailed work report which shall be presented at the MobIS-Challenge Workshop. The work report should not exceed 20 pages of length. The best solution will be awarded with the WI 2019 MobIS-Challenge Award.

Please submit your contributions to our contact address: mobis-challenge@iwi.dfki.de

Accepted work reports shall be published in an edited volume.

Timeline

Publication of data: until October 25th 2018

Submission of extended abstracts (max. 3 pages): until November 30th 2018

Author notification: December 15th 2018

Submission of complete work reports (max. 20 pages): until January 31th 2018

Workshop day: Sunday, February 24th 2019

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