Conference room: BPI’21

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Presented by Jochen De Weerdt

The renowned Business Process Intelligence Workshop (BPI) is at its 17th edition. As per the long-standing tradition, it will be hosted by the BPM conference. Jochen De Weerdt, the corresponding organiser, gets us through his experience with the workshop and introduces the upcoming BPI’21.

Jochen, tell us a bit about yourself and your research institute!

My name is Jochen De Weerdt and I am an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business of KU Leuven in Belgium. My research is focused on process mining and business analytics. I conducted a PhD on the topic of trace clustering, which I defended in 2012. Later that year, I joined the School of Information Systems at the Queensland University of Technology where I collaborated with Moe Wynn and Arthur ter Hofstede. In 2014, I rejoined KU Leuven and started to build my own research team within the Research Centre for Information Systems Engineering. I am currently supervising nine PhD researchers.

When and why did you first meet BPI, as an author and as an organiser?

I got to know BPI in 2010, when my promotor gave me the chance to travel to New York for the BPM conference. As a first-year PhD researcher, I presented my first study on the quality of process discovery evaluation metrics at the BPI’10 workshop. I still recall vividly the discussions with Wil van der Aalst and Boudewijn van Dongen after my presentation. It was the first time that I met the process mining research community, and after reading all those interesting papers published up till then, it was a unique and very inspiring event. Of course, the absolute highlight of the week was the Hudson river cruise, which was probably the best social event I have attended at any conference ever!

A funny anecdote is, by the way, why I didn’t attend the entire BPI workshop in 2010. Being a huge tennis fan, I left early because I had bought tickets for the final of the US Open tennis. On Sunday, the match got delayed due to rain, and it was resumed on Monday. So, instead of staying at BPI for the final couple of presentations, I took the subway to Flushing Meadows to watch the final between Nadal and Djokovic.

Later, in 2013, I was invited by Barbara Weber and Boudewijn van Dongen to join the organizing team. In 2019, I took over the role of the corresponding organizer. The organizing committee of BPI underwent several changes in the last years and currently consists of Andrea Burattin, Marwan Hassani and myself.

What are the main reasons that motivate you in this endeavour?

Since the beginning of my academic life, I have always felt a strong scientific and personal belonging to the BPM community. Due to the changes in the conference landscape in our domain in the last couple of years, especially the introduction of ICPM, it felt very important to me that process mining would remain a principal topic of interest at BPM. In this regard, I think it is crucial to have a strong continuation of one of the main events for process mining researchers, co-located with BPM. Over the years, the BPI workshop has been a great venue for novice and more-experienced researchers to disseminate their research. I am very motivated to continue taking a leading role in the years to come! With the process mining research community continuing its steady growth, there still remains a very strong rationale to remain embedded within our root domain.

Tell us more about BPI 2021!

BPI’21 will take place in Rome, Italy on September 6, 2021. We are all still very hopeful that the pandemic situation will improve so that we can finally get back together physically to present and discuss amongst process mining researchers in a real instead of a Zoom room. Papers are due in May. All details are available via We have an exceptionally strong program committee, guaranteeing that every paper will be reviewed by absolute top experts in the field. The fact that you can get excellent feedback on your research is already a key driver for many researchers to submit their work to our workshop.

How do you see the future of BPI?

Since I know it, BPI has always maintained a steadfast format. It is a comfortable setting for both presenters and discussants, allowing for sufficient depth in the discussions. We have been talking about more innovative formats, e.g. lightning talks or discussant groups. In line with the track system of BPM, we have broadened the scope of BPI to also foster more managerially focussed process mining research. This has not yet been very successful, and we are still actively looking to strengthen the organizing team. More specifically, process mining researchers tackling topics such as process mining methodologies, strategic frameworks, organizational aspects, and/or governance who are willing to serve as a co-organizer are especially welcome to get in touch!