Pattern 3 (Graphical Highlight)

FLASH animation of Graphical Highlight pattern


This pattern refers to the availability of features to change the visual appearance of model elements, such as shape, line thickness and type, background color, font type and color.


To visually accentuate some properties or aspects of model elements.


Using a range of appearance properties results in a perceptually enriched representation that can reduce the cognitive overhead of associating syntactic elements with their semantics [34], [28], [42].


eEPCs prescribe the use of different colors for each construct, e.g. Functions are represented in green, Events in purple, Connectors in grey and Positions in yellow. In Protos only the Status construct is colored in blue. BPMN allows flexibility in elements’ size, color and line style, except forspecific elements such as throwing and catching events, for which specific guidelines are indicated. Tools that support eEPCs such as Microsoft Visio, ARIS and Oryx, visualize eEPC models in their default colors. In ARIS an element’s background color, line thickness and line type can be changed, while in Enterprise Architect fonts’ color can also be changed. Other tools such as Oryx and the YAWL Editor only allow customizing the background color. In the literature, the use of colors is suggested to identify edge ends and matching splits and joins in Workflow Nets [50], while in [16] the idea of color-coding matching splits and joins is implemented for the WoPeD tool. Moreover, in [17] a method is presented to represent different types of BPMN elements by objects differing in color and shape; in [22] color variations and line brightness are used to highlight the most significant behavior of unstructured process models mined from logs, while in [1] line thickness is suggested to indicate the most traversed process path.


Figure 5 uses colors to highlight matching splits and joins, and thick edges to highlight the most traversed path, for the model in Figure 3b.