Shadow Testing for Business Process Improvement

Suhrid Satyal, Ingo Weber, Hye-young Paik, Claudio Di Ciccio, Jan Mendling

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingContribution to conference proceedings


A fundamental assumption of improvement in Business Process Management (BPM) is that redesigns deliver refined and improved versions of business processes. These improvements can be validated online through sequential experiment techniques like AB Testing, as we have shown in earlier work. Such approaches have the inherent risk of exposing customers to an inferior process version during the early stages of the test. This risk can be managed by offline techniques like simulation. However, offline techniques do not validate the improvements because there is no user interaction with the new versions. In this paper, we propose a middle ground through shadow testing, which avoids the downsides of simulation and direct execution. In this approach, a new version is deployed and executed alongside the current version, but in such a way that the new version is hidden from the customers and process workers. Copies of user requests are partially simulated and partially executed by the new version as if it were running in the production. We present an architecture, algorithm, and implementation of the approach, which isolates new versions from production, facilitates fair comparison, and manages the overhead of running shadow tests. We demonstrate the efficacy of our technique by evaluating the executions of synthetic and realistic process redesigns.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOn the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems. OTM 2018 Conferences - Confederated International Conferences: CoopIS, C&TC, and ODBASE 2018, Part I
Editors Hervé Panetto, Christophe Debruyne, Henderik A. Proper, Claudio Agostino Ardagna, Dumitru Roman, Robert Meersman
Place of PublicationValletta, Malta
PublisherSpringer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS)
Pages153 - 171
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-02610-3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 102
  • 502017 Logistics
  • 102001 Artificial intelligence
  • 102022 Software development
  • 102013 Human-computer interaction
  • 502
  • 502050 Business informatics

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