MScIS Dominic Breuker

Location: Ulsan, Korea

Arrival: May 7th 2012

Departure: May 18th 2012

Dominic Breuker (KOR)

Mission statement

  • To exchange ideas on the formal analysis of business process instance data and to evaluate opportunities for algorithmic analysis support.
  • To initiate work on joint publications with researchers from UNIST.
  • To build up a mutual student’s exchange program between the University of MueU and UNIST

Research results

It becomes increasingly important for students of Information Systems to gain international experience that goes beyond visiting neighboring countries that have been shaped by the same cultural background their home country has been. Apart from learning a foreign language to an extent a course at a language learning center couldn’t achieve, studying in exotic locations such as Asian countries creates awareness for cultural differences and for ways of living other than the ones a student is used to. It breaks down an attitude of ethnocentricity and conveys a sense of intercultural competence, a soft skill demanded by today’s human resources departments. Thus, the University of Münster is commited to offering its students a multitude of high quality exchange programs not only with European or North American Universities, but aims at increasing its offerings for other parts of the world as well.

For these reasons, an important goal for my stay was to kick off work on a mutual exchange agreement. This was work that could only be started during my stay and has been continued afterwards. By now, the agreement is established and the first students will be exchanges soon. In order to get to this point, initial talks had been conducted to evaluate the various options we had in designing the agreement and to explore each other’s interests. After achieving first consensus, more detailed plans on how to design the exchange program have been made. For instance, we had to agree upon the requirements students need to fulfill in order to participate in an exchange, and courses had to be selected that could be taken interchangeably at both institutions. Finally, an exchange agreement, signed by officials of both Universities, has been created. The agreement is active since.

Other than that, it was the goal of my stay to advance my research on automated analysis of business process instance data. This field of research is concerned with analyzing traces of activities left behind by employees of organizations that perform business processes supported by information systems. As an example, consider a claims handling process in an insurance company. Further assume there is an information system used to handle these claims. The system records all events related to claims reported by the customers. Events could be a customer calling a call center employee or the insurance company adjusting a claim. Analysis of this kind of data can be done for a multitude of purposes. Descriptive analysis can be used to display the typical way in which these events occur and how they are related. Confirmatory analysis may investigate to which extent the events actually happening conform to prescriptive business rules.

Prof. Minseok Song, my primary contact at UNIST, is a renowned expert in this research area who has published a number of research papers on this topic in leading journals such as Information Systems. In a series of discussions, we worked out each other’s particular fields of interest and discussed opportunities for future research. With his help, I was able to design and implement a new plug-in for the Process Mining Workbench (, the most prominent software tool for business process instance analysis. The plugin implements an innovative algorithmic technique for discovering formal specifications of business processes from instance data. It builds upon a principled use of techniques from the area of machine learning to do so. In the future, the tool will be rigorously evaluated to assess its usefulness on real-world data.

To conclude, I have experienced a warm and friendly welcome at UNIST and felt well supported in all personal and professional needs throughout my entire stay. UNIST is a great place to meet interesting and friendly people. I would come back any time.