Anyone can use Models: Potentials, Requirements and Support for Non-Expert Model Interaction

Anyone can use Models: Potentials, Requirements and Support for Non-Expert Model Interaction

Alexander Nolte (Information and Technology Management, Institute for Applied Work Science, University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany) and Michael Prilla (Information and Technology Management, Institute for Applied Work Science, University of Bochum, Bochum, Germany)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/ijec.2013100104
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Abstract

Models play an important role in modern organizations. They are used to coordinate the interplay of stakeholders, inform the design of software systems and are even used for controlling purposes. While these models affect multiple people within an organization their creation and usage is limited to a few experts. This is due to the common belief that non-expert modelers are not capable of performing modeling tasks or working with models without the help of experts. With this paper the authors argue that people are capable of interacting with models when they are given the right means to do so. The authors shed light onto the potential benefits of non-expert model interaction by conducting multiple case studies and describing suitable tool support for non-expert modelers.
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At this stage, it is necessary to be explicit about the central terms used in this paper. First, by non-expert interaction with models we refer to actions of creating, referring to, using and manipulating models by a group of users who are neither experienced nor explicitly trained to work with process models. The term ‘non-expert’ thus only applies to the modeling skills of this group, not to their expertise in other domains. Second, we differentiate between using a model for certain purposes and creating or manipulating it. By using a model, we mean activities such as referring to it during communication or sharing knowledge with the help of a model. In contrast, activities of creating or manipulating models always lead to changes and will be subsumed by the term ‘modeling’ throughout this paper. Thus, despite this differentiation, this paper covers both of these activities and subsumes them by the term “interaction with models”.

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