Business process management as the “Killer App” for Petri nets
Since their inception in 1962, Petri nets have been used in a wide variety of application domains. Although Petri nets are graphical and easy to understand, they have formal semantics and allow for analysis techniques ranging from model checking and structural analysis to process mining and performance analysis. Over time Petri nets emerged as a solid foundation for Business Process Management (BPM) research. The BPM discipline develops methods, techniques, and tools to support the design, enactment, management, and analysis of operational business processes. Mainstream business process modeling notations and workflow management systems are using token-based semantics borrowed from Petri nets. Moreover, state-of-the-art BPM analysis techniques are using Petri nets as an internal representation. Users of BPM methods and tools are often not aware of this. This paper aims to unveil the seminal role of Petri nets in BPM.