Design Principles for Reference Modelling: Reusing Information Models by Means of Aggregation, Specialisation, Instantiation and Analogy

Design Principles for Reference Modelling: Reusing Information Models by Means of Aggregation, Specialisation, Instantiation and Analogy

Jan vom Brocke (University of Muenster, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-278-7.ch014
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With the design of reference models, an increase in the efficiency of information systems engineering is intended. This is expected to be achieved by reusing information models. Current research focuses mainly on configuration as one principle for reusing artifacts. According to this principle, all variants of a model are incorporated in the reference model facilitating adaptations by choices. In practice, however, situations arise whereby various requirements to a model are unforeseen: Either results are inappropriate or costs of design are exploding. This paper introduces additional design principles that aim toward giving more flexibility to both the design and application of reference models.
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Modeling comprises a concentration on special aspects in design processes by means of abstraction. In particular, information (system) models are built in order to describe relevant aspects of information systems. Due to an increasing demand of these models addressing similar design problems to a certain extent, the development of reference (information) models is subject to research.1 The essential idea is to provide information models as a kind of “reference” in order to increase both efficiency and effectiveness of modeling processes (Becker et al., 2004; Fettke & Loos, 2003; Scheer & Nüttgens, 2000).

Practical applications of reference models are widespread in the domain of ERP-systems (Becker & Schütte, 2004; Huschens & Rumpold-Preining, 2006; Kittlaus & Krahl, 2006; Scheer, 1994). In this domain, reference models set the basis for general business solutions that can be adapted to individual customer needs. In order to support this kind of customising process, reference models are built in a configurative way (Becker et al., 2004; Meinhardt & Popp, 2006; Recker et al., 2005); for a review on German literature (see vom Brocke, 2003, pp. 95-158). This work intends to encounter all relevant variants of prospective applications during build-time of the model in order to facilitate adaptability by means of choices (van der Aalst et al., 2005, p. 77). A vital factor for the economic efficiency of reference modeling is in how far a single variant of the model fits the customer’s requirements. As this fit indicates the value of the model, it is also essential for the return on investment in building reference models from a supplier’s perspective. Considering the variety of requirements to be faced in today’s software engineering, the design principle of configuration illuminates specific limitations. In particular, it is increasingly hard to take into account the various requirements that may be relevant and to incorporate them in the reference model. Hence, supplementary design principles that may enlarge the “tool-kit” of reference modeling appear to be useful. Accordingly, the principles aggregation, specialisation, instantiation, and analogy are presented in this chapter.

Initially, as a theoretical background, the concept of reuse in reference modeling is introduced. This allows an analysis of preliminary works leading to a closer specification of this study’s research focus and methodology. On that basis, new design principles are introduced and analysed according to their potential for reference modeling. Finally, a conclusion is drawn and perspectives for future research are suggested.

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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Terry Halpin
When modeling information systems, one often encounters subtyping aspects of the business domain that can prove challenging to implement in either... Sample PDF
Enriched Conceptualization of Subtyping
Chapter 2
Alessandro Artale, C. Maria Keet
This chapter focuses on formally representing life cycle semantics of part-whole relations in conceptual data models by utilizing the temporal... Sample PDF
Essential, Mandatory, and Shared Parts in Conceptual Data Models
Chapter 3
Peter Bollen
In this chapter the authors extend the ORM conceptual modeling language with constructs for capturing the relevant parts of an application ontology... Sample PDF
Extending the ORM Conceptual Schema Language and Design Procedure with Modeling Constructs for Capturing the Domain Ontology
Chapter 4
Janis Stirna, Anne Persson
This chapter presents experiences and reflections from using the EKD Enterprise Modeling method in a number of European organizations. The EKD... Sample PDF
EKD: An Enterprise Modeling Approach to Support Creativity and Quality in Information Systems and Business Development
Chapter 5
Anders Carstensen, Lennart Holmberg, Kurt Sandkuhl, Janis Stirna
This chapter discusses how an Enterprise Modeling approach, namely C3S3P1, has been applied in an automotive supplier company. The chapter... Sample PDF
Integrated Requirement and Solution Modeling: An Approach Based on Enterprise Models
Chapter 6
John Krogstie, Frank Lillehagen
Innovative design is the most important competitive factor for global engineering and manufacturing. Critical challenges include cutting lead times... Sample PDF
Methodologies for Active Knowledge Modeling
Chapter 7
Peretz Shoval, Mark Last, Avihai Yampolsky
In the analysis phase of the information system development, the user requirements are studied, and analysis models are created. In most UML-based... Sample PDF
Data Modeling and Functional Modeling: Examining the Preferred Order of Using UML Class Diagrams and Use Cases
Chapter 8
Mauri Leppänen
A large number of strategies, approaches, meta models, techniques and procedures have been suggested to support method engineering (ME). Most of... Sample PDF
OntoFrame: An Ontological Framework for Method Engineering
Chapter 9
Patrick van Bommel, Stijn Hoppenbrouwers, Erik Proper, Jeroen Roelofs
A process-oriented framework (QoMo) is presented that aims to further the study of analysis and support of processes for modeling. The framework is... Sample PDF
Concepts and Strategies for Quality of Modeling
Chapter 10
John Erickson, Keng Siau
This chapter presents the basic ideas underlying Service Oriented Architecture as well as a brief overview of current research into the phenomena... Sample PDF
Service Oriented Architecture: A Research Review from the Software and Applications Perspective
Chapter 11
Vítor Estêvão Silva Souza, Ricardo de Almeida Falbo, Giancarlo Guizzardi
In the Web Engineering area, many methods and frameworks to support Web Information Systems (WISs) development have already been proposed.... Sample PDF
Designing Web Information Systems for a Framework-Based Construction
Chapter 12
Tony Elliman, Tally Hatzakis, Alan Serrano
This paper discusses the idea that even though information systems development (ISD) approaches have long advocated the use of integrated... Sample PDF
Business Process Simulation: An Alternative Modelling Technique for the Information System Development Process
Chapter 13
Leandro Dias da Silva, Elthon Allex da Silva Oliveira, Hyggo Almeida, Angelo Perkusich
In this chapter a formal agent based approach for the modeling and verification of intelligent information systems using Coloured Petri Nets is... Sample PDF
An Agent Based Formal Approach for Modeling and Verifying Integrated Intelligent Information Systems
Chapter 14
Jan vom Brocke
With the design of reference models, an increase in the efficiency of information systems engineering is intended. This is expected to be achieved... Sample PDF
Design Principles for Reference Modelling: Reusing Information Models by Means of Aggregation, Specialisation, Instantiation and Analogy
Chapter 15
Eleni Berki
Information systems development methodologies and associated CASE tools have been considered as cornerstones for building quality in an information... Sample PDF
Examining the Quality of Evaluation Frameworks and Metamodeling Paradigms of Information Systems Development Methodologies
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