Conceptual Modeling of Events for Active Information Systems

Conceptual Modeling of Events for Active Information Systems

Salvatore T. March (Vanderbilt University, USA) and Gove N. Allen (Brigham Young University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-144-5.ch014
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Active information systems participate in the operation and management of business organizations. They create conceptual objects that represent social constructions, such as agreements, commitments, transactions, and obligations. They determine and ascribe attributes to both conceptual and concrete objects (things) that are of interest to the organization. Active information system infer conclusions based on the application of socially constructed and mutable rules constituting organizational policies and procedures that govern how conceptual and concrete objects are affected when defined and identified events occur. The ontological foundations for active information systems must include constructs that represent concrete and conceptual objects, their attributes, and the events that affect them. Events are a crucial component of conceptual models that represent active information systems. The representation of events must include ascribed attributes representing data values inherent in the event as well as rules defining how conceptual and concrete objects are affected when the event occurs. The state-history of an object can then be constructed and reconstructed by the sequence of events that have affected it. Alternate state-histories can be generated based on proposed or conjectured rule modifications, enabling a reinterpretation of history. Future states can be predicted based on proposed or conjectured events and event definitions. Such a conceptualization enables a parsimonious mapping between an active information system and the organizational system in which it participates.
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Organizations and the information systems that support them are artificial and intentionally designed artifacts. Policies and procedures created by an organization determine how specifically defined and identified events affect the organization. Active information systems are designed to participate in the operation and management of organizations by implementing such policies and procedures. Events play a crucial role in such organizational processes. They are defined and identified for the purpose of initiating organizational processes among interacting participants.

The event commonly described as “the placement of a purchase order,” for example, is an intentional agreement between a customer and a vendor. It is artificially identified and used by each participant to initiate organizational processes. For instance, the vendor may create a conceptual object referred to as a sales order—which is identified by a sales order number—and described by the particulars of the agreement (e.g., payment terms, promised delivery date, FOB point, quantities and prices of products sold, sales tax rate, freight charges). The sales order may also initiate production, shipping, and billing processes. The customer, on the other hand, may create a conceptual object referred to as a purchase order, identified by a purchase order number and described by the particulars of the agreement. The purchase order may also initiate production and sales processes that depend on the receipt of the products on that purchase order. It may also initiate processes to reserve cash required to pay for the purchase.

The ontological definition of an “event” as a state-transition (Bunge 1977) has been widely used in conceptual modeling research (Wand and Weber 1990; Shanks, Tansley, and Weber 2003). This definition has resulted in the premise that an information system is fundamentally a state-tracking mechanism (Wand and Weber 1990). It proscribes the representation of events as entities (Wand, Story, and Weber 1999). A conceptual model based on such a premise can appropriately represent a passive information system (March and Allen 2007a), but it is inadequate in representing an active information system. Effective analysis and design of active information systems requires a more substantive ontological definition of an “event” as an identified causal occurrence (Geerts and McCarthy 2002; Davidson 1980; Casati and Varzi 1996; March and Allen 2007b). Such a definition results in the premise that an information system is fundamentally an event-processing mechanism (Allen and March 2003; March and Allen 2007a). It requires the representation of events as entities for those events in which the information system actively participates. The descriptions of such entities include (a) the organizational rules governing the event processing and (b) the data that describe the event. We contend that it is appropriate to represent events as entities at the conceptual level and argue that doing so is fundamental to the conceptual modeling of information systems that actively participate in organizational work systems (Alter 2003; Alter 2006).

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Table of Contents
Vijayan Sugumaran
Chapter 1
Hong Lin
In this chapter a program construction method based on ?-Calculus is proposed. The problem to be solved is specified by first-order predicate logic... Sample PDF
Designing Multi-Agent Systems from Logic Specifications: A Case Study
Chapter 2
Rahul Singh
Organizations use knowledge-driven systems to deliver problem-specific knowledge over Internet-based distributed platforms to decision-makers.... Sample PDF
Multi-Agent Architecture for Knowledge-Driven Decision Support
Chapter 3
Farid Meziane
Trust is widely recognized as an essential factor for the continual development of business-to-customer (B2C) electronic commerce (EC). Many trust... Sample PDF
A Decision Support System for Trust Formalization
Chapter 4
Mehdi Yousfi-Monod
The work described in this chapter tackles learning and communication between cognitive artificial agents and trying to meet the following issue: Is... Sample PDF
Using Misunderstanding and Discussion in Dialog as a Knowledge Acquisition or Enhancement Procecss
Chapter 5
Sungchul Hong
In this chapter, we present a two-tier supply chain composed of multiple buyers and multiple suppliers. We have studied the mechanism to match... Sample PDF
Improving E-Trade Auction Volume by Consortium
Chapter 6
Manoj A. Thomas, Victoria Y. Yoon, Richard Redmond
Different FIPA-compliant agent development platforms are available for developing multiagent systems. FIPA compliance ensures interoperability among... Sample PDF
Extending Loosely Coupled Federated Information Systems Using Agent Technology
Chapter 7
H. Hamidi
The reliable execution of mobile agents is a very important design issue in building mobile agent systems and many fault-tolerant schemes have been... Sample PDF
Modeling Fault Tolerant and Secure Mobile Agent Execution in Distributed Systems
Chapter 8
Xiannong Meng, Song Xing
This chapter reports the results of a project attempting to assess the performance of a few major search engines from various perspectives. The... Sample PDF
Search Engine Performance Comparisons
Chapter 9
Antonio Picariello
Information retrieval can take great advantages and improvements considering users’ feedbacks. Therefore, the user dimension is a relevant component... Sample PDF
A User-Centered Approach for Information Retrieval
Chapter 10
Aboul Ella Hassanien, Jafar M. Ali
This chapter presents an efficient algorithm to classify and retrieve images from large databases in the context of rough set theory. Color and... Sample PDF
Classification and Retrieval of Images from Databases Using Rough Set Theory
Chapter 11
Lars Werner
Text documents stored in information systems usually consist of more information than the pure concatenation of words, i.e., they also contain... Sample PDF
Supporting Text Retrieval by Typographical Term Weighting
Chapter 12
Ben Choi
Web mining aims for searching, organizing, and extracting information on the Web and search engines focus on searching. The next stage of Web mining... Sample PDF
Web Mining by Automatically Organizing Web Pages into Categories
Chapter 13
John Goh
Mobile user data mining is about extracting knowledge from raw data collected from mobile users. There have been a few approaches developed, such as... Sample PDF
Mining Matrix Pattern from Mobile Users
Chapter 14
Salvatore T. March, Gove N. Allen
Active information systems participate in the operation and management of business organizations. They create conceptual objects that represent... Sample PDF
Conceptual Modeling of Events for Active Information Systems
Chapter 15
John M. Artz
Earlier work in the philosophical foundations of information modeling identified four key concepts in which philosophical groundwork must be further... Sample PDF
Information Modeling and the Problem of Universals
Chapter 16
Christian Hillbrand
The motivation for this chapter is the observation that many companies build their strategy upon poorly validated hypotheses about cause and effect... Sample PDF
Empirical Inference of Numerical Information into Causal Strategy Models by Means of Artificial Intelligence
Chapter 17
Yongjian Fu
In this chapter, we propose to use N-gram models for improving Web navigation for mobile users. Ngram models are built from Web server logs to learn... Sample PDF
Improving Mobile Web Navigation Using N-Grams Prediction Models
Chapter 18
Réal Carbonneau, Rustam Vahidov, Kevin Laframboise
Managing supply chains in today’s complex, dynamic, and uncertain environment is one of the key challenges affecting the success of the businesses.... Sample PDF
Forecasting Supply Chain Demand Using Machine Learning Algorithms
Chapter 19
Teemu Tynjala
The present study implements a generic methodology for describing and analyzing demand supply networks (i.e. networks from a company’s suppliers... Sample PDF
Supporting Demand Supply Network Optimization with Petri Nets
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