Conformance checking is a technique used to check process compliance by comparing event logs for a discovered process with the existing reference model (target model) of the same process. This technique is used to determine whether the target process corresponds to the actual process, highlighting deviations between the two.
In process mining, business processes are visualized using event logs. This visualization is also referred to as the discovered model. All logged process activities, as well as their durations and sequences, are represented in this process model. Conformance checking compares the discovered model with a reference or target model, which can be visualized as a superimposition of the two models.
While it’s ideal to see a high degree of similarity between the basic activities in both models, this isn’t always the case. In reality, process workflows can include extra, unnecessary steps, and steps can be missed or performed in the wrong order. Conformance checking is designed to identify these cases.
Conformance checking helps ensure that all process deviations from the target process or reference model are identified, minimizing risk of audit problems or legal violations. Process deviations often require more resources than the target process or may have a negative impact on product or service quality. As a result, most process deviations lead to financial loss, so companies have a great interest in identifying unplanned process sequences and introducing appropriate preventive measures.
Related Terms: event logs
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