Event abstraction in process mining: literature review and taxonomy

Sebastiaan J. van Zelst (Corresponding author), Felix Mannhardt, Massimiliano de Leoni, Agnes Koschmider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The execution of processes in companies generates traces of event data, stored in the underlying information system(s), capturing the actual execution of the process. Analyzing event data, i.e., the focus of process mining, yields a detailed understanding of the process, e.g., we are able to discover the control flow of the process and detect compliance and performance issues. Most process mining techniques assume that the event data are of the same and/or appropriate level of granularity. However, in practice, the data are extracted from different systems, e.g., systems for customer relationship management, Enterprise Resource Planning, etc., record the events at different granularity levels. Hence, pre-processing techniques that allow us to abstract event data into the right level of granularity are vital for the successful application of process mining. In this paper, we present a literature study, in which we assess the state-of-the-art in the application of such event abstraction techniques in the field of process mining. The survey is accompanied by a taxonomy of the existing approaches, which we exploit to highlight interesting novel directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-736
Number of pages18
JournalGranular Computing
Issue number3
Early online date27 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Event abstraction
  • Granular computing
  • Label refinement
  • Process mining
  • Sequential data


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