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What is Object-Centric Process Mining (OCPM)?

What is Object-Centric Process Mining (OCPM)?

In 2021, Professor Wil van der Aalst (chief scientist at Celonis) emphasized the need for process mining technology to align more closely with the authentic essence of processes and systems. Object-Centric Process Mining (OCPM) seeks to advance this transformation by constructing process models that faithfully represent the object-centric nature of end-to-end business processes.

OCPM addresses the limitations of traditional process mining, particularly convergence and divergence issues, by eschewing the definition of events as strictly associated with a single case. Instead, OCPM employs an Object-Centric Event Log (OCEL), allowing an event to be linked to multiple objects such as sales orders, sales order items, production orders, and the like. Unlike traditional process mining that relies on case-centric event data, OCPM leverages object-centric event data.

Conceptually, an OCEL can be illustrated with two tables—one for events and one for objects. The events table includes identifiers, activities, timestamps, related objects, and potentially other event attributes for each event. The objects table defines objects, featuring identifiers, types (e.g., sales order item, customer), and potentially additional descriptive attributes like size, weight, address, and more.

Diverging from the structure of a traditional process mining event log, an object-centric event log captures the intricate one-to-many and many-to-many relationships between multiple objects. Object-Centric Process Mining offers the flexibility to examine a process from various perspectives. It transitions from a two-dimensional view, where a single object type is analyzed, to a three-dimensional perspective that simultaneously considers multiple object types and their interrelationships.

As stated by Professor Wil van der Aalst,  OCPM signifies a transformative shift in the realm of process mining. OCPM is transitioning early process mining from Static, two-dimensional perspectives of processes and organizations to Dynamic, three-dimensional viewpoint. 

In 2022, Celonis took the pioneering step to fully embrace object-centric process mining with their introduction of Process Sphere™. This novel capability signified a significant advancement in process mining. Centric Process Mining (OCPM) stood out as an innovative approach to process mining and execution management, surpassing the limitations of conventional techniques. It empowers organizations to gain enhanced insights into and analyze the intricacies and interdependencies inherent in modern business operations without having to develop the data-linkage themselves. 

Additional Information from Celonis:

Listen to Chief Scientist (Professor WIl van der Aalst) explain "what OCPM is and why is matters"
- - - Click the Video to Play - - - (3m:15s)

Download the free White Paper: Object-Centric Process Mining by Celonis

Download the free Infographic: Object-Centric Process Mining by Celonis

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