EPC Modelling

From EPC Standard

Instructions and support of how to model EPCs is an integral part of the EPC standard. Accordingly, this building block covers EPC Use Cases and EPC Reference Models as well as a set of EPC Modelling Guidelines.

Why there is a need for user support for EPC modeling:
A systematic procedure model

Process models and subsequently business process modelling languages get more and more complex. This is especially true for the event-driven process chain (EPC), since the absence of a clearly defined standard renders EPC modelling difficult. In contrast to established modelling standards such as the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN)[1], there exists no single source of guidance modellers can rely on when using the EPC. Instead, EPC research has become more and more fragmented over time, resulting in various propositions regarding EPC modelling, ranging from domain-specific dialects[2] and exchange formats[3] to various suggestions regarding syntax, semantics and pragmatics.[4]. Naturally, this situation increases the complexity of using the EPC in practice.
On top, modelling itself is no trivial task. To ad-dress this issue, several frameworks and guidelines have emerged to support process modelling.
However, most of them remain at a generic level. Currently, there is no user support with respect to the actual model construction process that is specific to the EPC language. To address these needs, a systematic procedure model that supports users in EPC modelling is proposed.

The iterative procedure model

Based on the consolidation and integration of previous work in the field of EPC modelling support, we propose an iterative procedure model to assist users in EPC modelling tasks. The model is presented in Figure 1 and consists of five phases that resemble the basic approach when constructing an EPC model:

  • Start event(s),
  • the alternation of function and event modelling,
  • optional resources
  • and an end event.
Figure 1

Figure 1. EPC modelling cycle

Although EPC operators are essential constructs, they are not represented by a corresponding phase. Instead, the possible choices for modelling preceding operators are included in the main phases event and function. Every phase is comprised of a detailed set of steps. The procedure model is built on the premise of having a textual model of a given operational situation as an input. An EPC model reflecting the operational situation as a result of the procedure model is considered an output.


  • [1] ^ Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) Version 2.0, 2011, available at: (accessed 27 September 2015).
  • [3] ^ Riehle, D.M., Jannaber, S., Karhof, A., Thomas, O., Delfmann, P. and Becker, J. (2016), “On the de-facto Standard of Event-driven Process Chains: How EPC is defined in Literature”, Modellierung 2016, 2.-4. März 2016, Karlsruhe, Köllen Druck+Verlag, Bonn, Germany, pp. 61–76.
  • [4] ^ Riehle, D.M., Jannaber, S., Karhof, A., Delfmann, P., Thomas, O. and Becker, J. (2016), “Towards EPC standardization - A literature review on EPC exchange formats”, presented at the Multikonferenz Wirtschaftsinformatik (MKWI 2016), Ilmenau, Germany.
  • [5] Fellmann, M., Bittmann, S., Karhof, A., Stolze, C. and Thomas, O. (2013), “Do We Need a Standard for EPC Modelling? The State of Syntactic, Semantic and Pragmatic Quality”, 5th International Workshop on Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures (EMISA), St. Gallen, Switzerland, pp. 103–116.