Document Type

Research Paper


Within an enterprise, various stakeholders create different conceptual models, such as process, data, and requirements models. These models are fundamentally based on similar underlying enterprise (domain) concepts, but they differ in focus, use different modeling languages, take different viewpoints, utilize different terminology, and are used to develop different enterprise artifacts; as such, they typically lack consistency and interoperability. This issue can be solved by enterprise-specific ontologies, which serve as a reference during the conceptual model creation. Using such a shared semantic repository makes conceptual models interoperable and facilitates model integration. The challenge to accomplish this is twofold: on the one hand, an up-to-date enterprise-specific ontology needs to be created and maintained, and on the other hand, different modelers also need to be supported in their use of the enterprise-specific ontology. The authors propose to tackle these challenges by means of a recommendation-based conceptual modeling and an ontology evolution framework, and we focus in particular on ontology-based modeling support. To this end, the authors present a framework for Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) as a conceptual modeling language, and focus on how modelers can be assisted during the modeling process and how this impacts the semantic quality of the resulting models. Subsequently, a first, large-scale explorative experiment is presented involving 140 business students to evaluate the BPMN instantiation of our framework. The experiments show promising results with regard to incurred overheads, intention of use and model interoperability.