Project type: Bridge Project

AI and Blockchains for Complex Business Processes

Business processes in private companies and public organisations are today widely supported by Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Process Management (BPM) and Electronic Case Management (ECM) systems [1], put into use with the aim to improve efficiency of the business processes. Recently, also blockchain technologies are being proposed as a means to provide guarantees for security, computational integrity and pseudonymous agency.

The combined result is however often an increasingly elaborate information systems landscape, leading to ineffectiveness, limited understanding of business processes, inability to predict and find the root cause of losses, errors and fraud, and inability to adapt the business processes [1]. This lack of understanding, agility and control over business processes places a major burden on the organisations. For instance, a recent report concludes that the Danish Ministry of Taxation’s control of the state’s annual revenue of one trillion DKK is so “deficient and weak” that there is a clear “increased risk” that employees can cheat and abuse for their own gain in the same style as the recent Britta Nielsen and Armed forces cases.

Enterprise and block chain systems generate a plethora of highly granular data recording their operation. Machine learning has a great potential to aid in the analysis of this data in order to predict errors, detect fraud and improve their efficiency. Knowledge of business processes can also be used to support the needed transformation of old and heterogeneous it landscapes to new platforms. Application areas include Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) supervision of business processes in the financial sector, supply chain management in agriculture and foodstuff supply, and compliance and optimisation of workflow processes in the public sector.

The research aim of the AI and Blockchain for Complex Business Processes project is methods and tools that enable industry to develop new efficient solutions for exploiting the huge amount of business data generated by enterprise and blockchain systems, from techniques for automatic identification of business events, via the development of new rule based process mining technologies to tools for the use of process insights for business intelligence and transformation.

The project will do this through a unique bridge between industry and academia, involving two innovative, complementary industrial partners and researchers across disciplines of AI, software engineering and business intelligence from three DIREC partner universities. Open source release (under the LGPL 3.0 license) of the rule-based mining algorithms developed by the PhD assigned task 2 will ensure future enhancement and development by the research community, while simultaneously providing businesses the opportunity to include them in proprietary software.

The scientific value of the project is new methods and tools for process mining, decision support and business transformation and associated knowledge of their performance and properties in case studies. These are important contributions to provide excellent knowledge to Danish companies and education programs within AI and Blockchain technology for business innovation and processes.

For capacity building the value of the project is to educate 2 PhD and 1 industrial Post Doc in close collaboration with industry. Open source availability of general project outcomes and industry collaboration enable several exploitation paths. The project will also provide on-line course material for existing and new courses for industry, MSc and PhD.

For the business and societal value, the project has very broad applicability, targeting improvements in terms of effectiveness and control of process aware information systems across the private and public sector. Concretely, the project considers cases of customers of the participating industry partners within the financial sector, the public sector and within the operations and supply chains for agriculture and foodstuffs supply. All sectors that have vital societal role. The industrial partners will create business value of estimated 155MDkr increased turnaround and 10-12 new employees in 5-7 years through the generation of IP by the two industrial researchers and the development of state- of-the-art proprietary process analysis and decision support tools.

July 1, 2021 – December 31, 2025 – 3,5 years

Participants

Project Manager

Tijs Slaats

Associate Professor

University of Copenhagen
Department of Computer Science

E: hilde@di.ku.dk

Jakob Grue Simonsen

Professor

University of Copenhagen
Department of Computer Science

Thomas Hildebrandt

Professor

University of Copenhagen
Department of Computer Science

Michel Avital

Professor

Copenhagen Business School
Department of Digitalization

Henrik Axelsen

PHD Fellow

University of Copenhagen
Department of Computer Science

Christoffer Olling Back

Industry Postdoc

Gekkobrain

Hugo López

Assistant Professor

University of Copenhagen
Department of Computer Science

Søren Debois

Associate Professor

IT University of Copenhagen
Department of Computer Science

Jens Strandbygaard

CEO and Cofounder

Gekkobrain

Omri Ross

Chief Blockchain Scientist

eToro

Axel Fjelrad Christfort

PhD Fellow

University of Copenhagen
Dept. of Computer Science

Partners