This post summarizes my initial experience and impressions of the ProM process mining tool.
|Platform||Locally installed application|
My first attempt targeted installing the ProM tools on my Mac OS machines. The normal procedure of double-clicking an application icon fails with the following message: The application “ProM-6.9.app” can’t be opened. Reading the documentation, one must use the command-line interface to execute the shell scripts. This assumes the user has more than a basic understanding of how to navigate the file structure, execute shell commands, and change file permissions. Even after finding the shell scripts and changing the permissions to be executable, the following message results when attempting to run both of the scripts: “Prom-6.9.app cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified.” I’m sure that, with more research and investigation, a solution could be found. However, I abandoned my efforts at this point.
Installing the ProM Lite 1.2 tool on Windows was relatively straight forward. However, the interface did not replicate the steps and results presented in the course videos.
Installing the ProM 6.9 required multiple efforts with few queues indicating progress. After installing the software, two configuration steps must occur before loading event logs and starting to get familiar with the tool’s usage. The first step involves loading baseline plugins using the ProM UITopia Package Manager. The second step occurs on the first time you start the actual process mining tool, ProM 6.9.
The batch file for starting the package manager takes long enough to run with the same message appearing repetitively that it caused concern about proper functioning and ability to access the referenced URLs. After restarting the batch file a number of times and finally waiting long enough, the ProM UITopia Package Manager appeared behind the batch file execution window. The next step involves installing the RunnerUpPackages. This download and installation of multiple baseline packages proved time-consuming. On the first attempt, a loss in network connectivity caused an unrecoverable failure. My solution was to uninstall and reinstall. It seems like there should have been a record of the packages already downloaded and installed and a way to continue with those that remained.
Starting the ProM 6.9 also depends on executing a batch file as directed on the installation page. The first time executing the batch file also resulted in many messages about referenced URLs and a significant delay before the application opened.
I found the application’s color scheme odd. Everything is gray, which intuitively implies unimplemented or unavailable.
In my perception, ProM provides advanced process mining capabilities with a primary target audience of academic users. I fully appreciate the fact that ProM probably satisfies the needs of its targeted user base and that its development has contributed to the advancement of the process mining field. However, for someone just starting out with process mining, the obstacles presented by installing and using ProM significantly impede the learner’s ability to focus on applying the key concepts and techniques of process mining.