Syntax highlighting in business process models

H.A. Reijers, T. Freytag, J. Mendling, A. Eckleder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Sense-making of process models is an important task in various phases of business process management initiatives. Despite this, there is currently hardly any support in business process modeling tools to adequately support model comprehension. In this paper we adapt the concept of syntax highlighting to workflow nets, a modeling technique that is frequently used for business process modeling. Our contribution is three-fold. First, we establish a theoretical argument to what extent highlighting could improve comprehension. Second, we formalize a concept for syntax highlighting in workflow nets and present a prototypical implementation with the WoPeD modeling tool. Third, we report on the results of an experiment that tests the hypothetical benefits of highlighting for comprehension. Our work can easily be transferred to other process modeling tools and other process modeling techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-349
Number of pages11
JournalDecision Support Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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