Complexity in declarative process models: Metrics and multi-modal assessment of cognitive load

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  • Amine Abbad-Andaloussi
  • Andrea Burattin
  • Slaats, Tijs
  • Ekkart Kindler
  • Barbara Weber

Complex process models can hinder the comprehension of the underlying business processes. While several metrics have been suggested in the literature to evaluate the complexity of imperative process models, little is known about their declarative counterparts. In this paper, we address this gap through a suite of metrics that we propose to capture the complexity of declarative process models. Following this, we empirically investigate the impact of complexity, as measured by the suggested metrics, on users’ cognitive load when comprehending declarative process models. Therein, we use a multi-modal approach including eye-tracking and electrodermal activity. The findings of the empirical study provide evidence about the cognitive load emerging as a result of increased model complexity. Overall, the outcome of this paper presents empirically validated metrics to evaluate the complexity of declarative process models. Implementing these metrics and incorporating them in intelligent modeling tools would help assessing the complexity of declarative process models before being deployed. Furthermore, our empirical approach can be adopted by researchers in upcoming empirical studies to provide a multi-perspective assessment of users’ cognitive load when engaging with process models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120924
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

    Research areas

  • Cognitive load, Complexity metrics, Declarative process model, Electrodermal activity, Eye-tracking, Process model comprehension

ID: 362315818