Blog of Joos Buijs

About personal things, process mining and the rest in life.

Archive for the ‘PhD’ Category

A reply on “Some thoughts on Generalization”

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Last week, Dirk Fahland posted an interesting article on his blog about the generalization quality dimension in process mining (/process discovery). Since this is one of the topics I touched during my PhD research I just have to reply because I have a slightly different view, and I have the feeling that two concepts are mixed in the discussion. Unfortunately, this could not be done in a comment to the original post…

Dirk discusses the problem of the confidence one can have in a discovered process model, given an event log. A very related question is “have we seen enough traces”? These are all valid questions that we currently can not confidently answer (i.e. it is ongoing research).

Before I can explain why my view slightly differs, let me first explain our view on the quality dimensions in process discovery.

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Written by Joos Buijs

January 15, 2014 at 17:49

Some LaTeX errors and their solutions (part I)

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Hi all,

So, I have started to set up my PhD thesis LaTeX files. This means starting from scratch with clean and empty files. And of course, each chapter has its own tex file and the style and metadata (title, author, etc.) definitions will also be placed in their own files.

To make things interesting I upgraded WinEdt to version 7 (Version 8 is out but my university does not have a license yet). I also upgraded >all< LaTeX packages to their latest version (if supervisors can not compile your papers, there is something wrong, see problem below).

Of course, during all these things I encountered issues/challenges. Below I would like to briefly summarize them. I hope that someone, possibly future me, find them useful. (oh, how I look forward to the day that Google brings me to my own solution blog post)

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Written by Joos Buijs

June 25, 2013 at 17:15

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I’m Alive and Travelling

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Dear readers,

The time has come. The time to travel. For business. For real.

It is something each academic should do: visit other groups in academia and learn how academia works around the world.

I have been given the chance to visit the QUT BPM group in Brisbane, Australia. I’m leaving next week Tuesday and will be staying there for a good 6 weeks. Although this will not give me a lot of time to do and see all the really fun Australian things (Great Barrier Reef, Sydney’s Opera House, and far more nature than I’ve ever seen) I still think it is plenty long to absorb some pieces of Australia. And, of course, work!

Furthermore, I’m staying with three different families during my stay. I think that this will be a unique experience to learn about the Australian culture. I expect it to be different than here in the Netherlands, although Australia still has kind of a Western culture.

So, in the next few weeks I will be posting regular updates. Mainly aimed at family and friends but of course colleagues and complete strangers are more than welcome to follow me. And, hopefully, including beautiful pictures to make you all wish you were there.

For some readers my posts might be not very interesting (I will be posting pictures of airports and planes) but please understand that I have never travelled further than 1300km from home (Croatia), never been away for much more than 2 weeks and I’m travelling alone. I’m not a world traveller (yet) but hope to visit America and possibly China/Indonesia/… with my girlfriend (/wife) sometime in our lives.

For now, I’m preparing for my flight: 24 hours of travelling, mostly spend in air planes, something I have never experienced… And then the timezone difference, in the wrong direction. That will be a hell of jet lag I’m afraid…

As soon as I have more news to share, you’ll find it here! (also links will be posted on Twitter and Facebook)

TTFN

NOTE: for those concerned, I’m still in the Netherlands until next week Tuesday (June 6) and I will still be at work tomorrow. Thanks for caring Ine 😉

Written by Joos Buijs

May 31, 2012 at 16:54

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Science – Perception and the Real Deal

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Science is still a `vague’ thing for people outside of academia (e.g. most family and friends of people in academia). Recent news reports of people in academia ‘borrowing’ texts, ‘inventing’ data or getting a PhD approved at a ‘philosophy’ university while it was rejected at a technical one, do not really help in explaining what academia really is about…

The following picture describes it rather well I think. It also helps in explaining why people tend to borrow text, invent data or really want a reward for their hard work (assuming they did)…

I’m currently in my 3rd instance of ‘Hmm not quite going as expected’, hoping for ‘amazing results’ by tomorrow, or at least next Monday when the paper is due.

PS My supervisor recently published a book (http://www.processmining.org/book/start) where he thanks his wife for understanding that “science is more rewarding than running errands”. I totally second that and so far my girlfriend allows me to do more science than running errands.

Written by Joos Buijs

October 26, 2011 at 16:48

Academia vs. Business (1)

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First of all, I’m alive! Or, in other words, sorry for not really posting for, WOW, almost a year now… Some day I should write about all the cool stuff I did in the mean time (a lot has happened both in my work and private lifes).

But for now, while I’m awaiting a code update from a colleague, here is why I love academia so much, for now…

Or why I love academia (for now)

I’ll schedule some more posts like this for the next days while I’m waiting… (I have some links lined up)

TTFN!

Written by Joos Buijs

October 25, 2011 at 16:46

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2 Important updates (maybe more)

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So, I’m settling nicely into my PhD life. Writing papers, starting up the CoSeLoG project, getting into contact with most of the participants in the project, never a dull moment!

Speaking of the CoSeLoG project, it now has its own, ‘official’, website: http://www.win.tue.nl/coselog. So far it does not contain much information but this will grow in the future (you can follow the RSS feed if you’re interested).

Another big change is the renaming of my XESMa application. Apparently, it can be pronounced like something completely different (which I did not think of). So, from today on, XESMa is renamed to XESame. Not like Sesame Street but Open Sesame of course! (since it will open the process mining cave where all kinds of treasury can be found…)

XESame has also been given a ‘real’ home, at processmining.org! So far the XESame page contains even less information than my blog post but when I find time I’ll add more explanations and examples. Furthermore, I plan to update the GUI of XESame, but CoSeLoG comes first…

So far so good, this was it for now, back to making contacts!

– Joos

Written by Joos Buijs

May 26, 2010 at 17:00

The next level: pursuing a PhD

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I’m back!

After my final presentation and master thesis round-up I took a one-month holiday. Last Monday the holiday ended and I started my job: PhD candidate.

Not much changed actually: I sit in the same office at the same desk, I still travel more than 2,5 hours (2 times 1:15) each day to go to work and home again, I still like my colleagues and I still work on process mining (and even on XESMa a little bit).
There are some differences of course: I’m not a student any more but a ‘real’ employee with all kinds of things attached (from a mail box to all kinds of administrative things). Another thing I already notice is that much more different things come ‘my way’. During a master project you’re mainly working on that. As a PhD candidate you have your assigned project (see below) but you’re also supposed to help in education (but not too much, although I think I’ll like it), set up your own education plan (which courses do you need/want to follow) and many more fun things that come your way. Another benefit is that you belong ‘more’ to the group. Instead of only 6 months you’re now in this group for 4 years (at the very least). This means that other people invest (even) more time and have (even) more interest in you and vice versa.
Although I never though that I would pursue a PhD it does feel good, this first week at least.

The project: CoSeLoG

Update (20-5-2010): There is now an official CoSeLoG website!

So, the project, the main reason for me to start this PhD. If you don’t like the project you’re on, you won’t survive the 4 years.

The goal of the project, in brief, is to implement configurable process models in a SaaS (Software as a Service) environment to support municipalities in executing their processes.

The idea is that processes within municipalities are much alike. Registering an unborn child is similar in most municipalities. By applying process mining, configurable process models should be discovered. These models should describe the process executed in each of the municipalities. The next step is to implement these models in a SaaS system and provide formal semantics for execution. Because the models are configurable, each municipality will execute their own variant of the process. Furthermore, during execution the correct data should be recorded to enable the application of process mining on the SaaS system. This will enable municipalities to compare themselves with others and improve their process execution.
More information about this project can be found at the links at the end of this post.

One of the main advantages of this project is that it is very practical. 2 IT companies cooperate: D!MPACT, a Dutch IT cooperative for and by 20 municipalities and Pallas Athena, the well known creators of BPM|One used by +/-250 of the 440 Dutch municipalities.
Furthermore, 10 municipalities support the project, providing case data to use. These municipalities are Bergeijk, Bladel, Coevorden, Eersel, Emmen, Gemert-Bakel, Hellendoorn, Noordoostpolder, Reusel de Mierden and Zwolle. Half of these municipalities are located around Eindhoven. The other half however are located in the north of the Netherlands so I’m prepared for some long train rides. 🙂 Not all municipalities are a member of D!MPACT.
And, also very important, another PhD candidate will join the project in a few weeks. Together we try to realize the goals mentioned before. The other candidate will focus more on the practical implementation of the process models in the SaaS environment. My goal is to discover the process models using process mining, generate a configurable process model from these models (using a process mining algorithm to be developed) and enable the application of process mining in the resulting SaaS environment.

Overall I’m very pleased with the content of the project. Although configurable process models are new for me they are very interesting. Furthermore, the main goal of the project will be applicable to many companies too. Think for instance about the salary payment process of an international company, this could be captured in a configurable process model… So the future after my PhD also looks promising.

That’s it for now. Expect some topics about configurable process model in the future, although I’m planning to continue development on XESMa.

TTFN

Links:

English

Update (20-5-2010): There is now an official CoSeLoG website!

(Google Cache) FILLED vacancy on TU/e website

Dutch

Official announcement at NWO.nl

Official announcement at Jacquard.nl

News announcement at TU/e website

News announcement at D!MPACT website

Computable! article

Written by Joos Buijs

May 7, 2010 at 15:34

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