Process mining of business processes
Planning is a ubiquitous and critical activity in many different domains like capital-intensive industry (e.g., oil & gas domain) and healthcare service (e.g., workflows in hospitals). Optimal planning is particularly important in these domains to handle operational risks and coordinate all actors on a facility, such as surgery, projects, drilling, etc. In these domains, errors in planning decision can entail not only substantial financial loss, but also loss of life. Therefore, such errors should definitely be avoided.
Executable languages, e.g., BPEL and YAWL, have typically been used to model business process and workflows. However, it can be challenging to develop such models correctly when the quality of the existing documentations of the modelled process is questionable. Another technique, process mining, allows for the analysis of business processes based on event logs. Analysing event logs can help understand trends, patterns and details of a business process, and derive the corresponding model.
A prospective student would study the techniques of process mining and how it can be applied to process planning in industry in terms of formal models of business process.
 M. B. Juric. Business Process Execution Language for Web Services BPEL and BPEL4WS. Packt Publishing, 2006.
 W. M. P. van der Aalst and A. H. M. ter Hofstede. YAWL: Yet Another Workflow Language. Information Systems, 30(4):245–275, 2005.