Quotation Figl, Kathrin, Laue, Ralf. 2015. Influence factors for local comprehensibility of process models. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 82, 96-110.




The main aim of this study is to investigate human understanding of process models and to develop an improved understanding of its relevant influence factors. Aided by assumptions from cognitive psychology, this article attempts to address specific deductive reasoning difficulties based on process models. The authors developed a research model to capture the influence of two effects on the cognitive difficulty of reasoning tasks: (i) the presence of different control-flow patterns (such as conditional or parallel execution) in a process model and (ii) the interactivity of model elements. Based on solutions to 61 different reasoning tasks by 155 modelers, the results from this study indicate that the presence of certain control-flow patterns influences the cognitive difficulty of reasoning tasks. In particular, sequence is relatively easy, while loops in a model proved difficult. Modelers with higher process modeling knowledge performed better and rated subjective difficulty of loops lower than modelers with lower process modeling knowledge. The findings additionally support the prediction that interactivity between model elements is positively related to the cognitive difficulty of reasoning. Our research contributes to both academic literature on the comprehension of process models and practitioner literature focusing on cognitive difficulties when using process models.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal International Journal of Human-Computer Studies
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new INF-A, WH-B
Language English
Title Influence factors for local comprehensibility of process models
Volume 82
Year 2015
Page from 96
Page to 110
Reviewed? Y
URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1071581915001019
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2015.05.007


Figl, Kathrin (Former researcher)
Laue, Ralf (University of Applied Sciences Zwickau, Germany)
Institute for Information Systems and New Media IN (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
1134 Computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) (Details)
1138 Information systems (Details)
1161 Human-computer interaction (Details)
2972 Usability research (Details)
5367 Management information systems (Details)
5521 Cognitive psychology (Details)
5838 E-learning, telelearning (Details)
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