Experiences with and Opportunities for Process-Centered Ontologies

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Experiences with and Opportunities for Process
-
Centered
Ontologies


Walt Scacchi

Institute for Software Research

University of California, Irvine

Irvine, CA 92697
-
3425 USA

http://www.ics.uci.edu/~wscacchi

wscacchi@ics.uci.edu

August 2001

© Copyright 2001, Walt Scacchi


Introduction

Experiences over the past 15 years with process
-
centered ontologies that serve as process
meta
-
models [Mi and Scacchi 1996].


Lessons Lea
rned


Opportunities for Reinvention


Experiences



Web
-
based studies of process for developing organizational computing systems
[Bendifallah and Scacchi 1987, Kling and Scacchi 1982, Jazzar and Scacchi 1995,
Scacchi 2001].



Understanding and modeling observ
able roles, conditions, work processes, and
interstitial resources that animated the Soul of the New Machine (Kidder 1981).



ISHYS [Garg and Scacchi 1987, 1989]



Modeling and enactment support for routine and meta
-
tasks in software
development



Articulator [M
i and Scacchi 1990, 1992, 1993; Mi, Lee, and Scacchi 1993]



Knowledge
-
based modeling, analysis, and simulation of software development
processes



Process
-
driven environments for software development processes integrated via
process meta
-
model



Knowledge
-
base
d process asset libraries.for software development



SMART [Garg, Mi,
et al
., 1994]



Integrating and interoperating independently constructed software development
environments and tools via process ontology



Semi
-
automated generation of process
-
centered softwa
re development
environments [Garg and Jazayeri 1996].



Articulator process meta
-
model


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Comprehensive support for software development life cycle in industrial settings
[Mi and Scacchi 1996]



Comprehensive support for process life cycle engineering and integra
tion of
supporting tools [Scacchi and Mi 1997].



Reuse and reapplication across multiple domains: large
-
scale software
engineering, telecommunications system development, feature film production,
military procurement, interactive teleradiology, acquisition
of scientific research
services, business process redesign, and electronic commerce.



Ported reimplementation of meta
-
model using the Loom knowledge
representation scheme and description logic.



Process
-
directed intranets and Navigational enactment of Web
-
ba
sed processes



DHT
-
PEOS as a

Lessons Learned



Resource
-
centered ontology for representing organizational processes



Developed to account for empirical data (grounded, not speculative domain
modeling)



Meta
-
model representation integrates both declarative and
transformational (rule
-
based) knowledge representation taxonomies



Relations as first
-
class objects are key to the representation scheme; hence, the
meta
-
model is not a traditional object
-
oriented modeling scheme.



Process meta
-
model serves as a computationa
l theory that can derive, infer, or predict
new outcomes that are not already present in the represented scheme.



Evolutionary development lead to ongoing expansion and condensation of
representational coverage



Make it self
-
referential (reflexive)



Make it e
xtensible and domain
-
independent



Make it easy to make it domain
-
specific



Keep it thin



Process meta
-
model can be engineered across a process meta
-
model life cycle, since
all engineering activities that apply to process models [Scacchi and Mi 1997],
includin
g process reengineering [Scacchi and Noll 1997], can also be applied to
process meta
-
models.


Opportunities for Reinvention

Much attention at present focuses attention to the development of ontologies that are
compatible with Java/C++ based tools or applic
ations, RDF and XML based schemes for
codifying a transporting (semi
-
)structured information representations, and interchange of
knowledge representation (or process specification) schemata in Web friendly markup
notations..



Articulation



Process asset libr
ary



Generating process
-
based intranets/extranets that can be tailored to specific
application domains


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Generating process
-
centered software development environments that operate across
the Internet/Web.



Web studies that focus on developing empirically groun
ded models, narrative
ethnographies, and navigational webs for analyzing organizational processes and
work practices that situate complex information systems [Orlikowski and Iacono
2001].



References


S. Bendifallah and W. Scacchi, Understanding Software
Maintenance Work
, IEEE Trans.
Software Engineering
, 13(3), 311
-
323, March 1987.


J.S.C. Choi and W. Scacchi, Modeling and Simulating Software Acquisition Process
Architectures,
Journal of Systems and Software
, (to appear), 2001.


L. Eliot and W. Scacchi, D
eveloping a Knowledge
-
Based System Factory: Issues and
Concepts,
IEEE Expert
, 1(4), 51
-
58, Winter, 1986.


P.K. Garg and M. Jazayeri (eds.),
Process
-
Centered Software Engineering Environments
,
IEEE Computer Society Press, 1996.


P.K. Garg, P. Mi, T. Pham, W
. Scacchi, and G. Thunquest, The SMART Approach to
Software Process Engineering,
Proc. 16th. Intern. Conf. Software Engineering
, IEEE
Computer Society, Sorrento, Italy, 341
-
350, May 1994.


P.K. Garg and W. Scacchi, On Designing Intelligent Hypertext System
s for Information
Management in Software Engineering, Proc. Hypertext '87, Chapel Hill, NC, ACM Press,
349
-
369, November 1987.


P.K. Garg and W. Scacchi, The Design and Implementation of Intelligent Software
Hypertext Systems,
IEEE Expert
, 4(3), 52
-
63, Fal
l 1989.


T. Kidder,
The Soul of a New Machine
, Atlantic
-
Little, Brown, Boston, MA, 1981.


R. Kling and W. Scacchi, The Web of Computing: Computer technology as social
organization. In M. Yovits (ed.),
Advances in Computers
, Vol. 21, 3
-
90. Academic Press,
N
ew York, 1982.


P. Mi, M.J. Lee and W. Scacchi, A Knowledge
-
based Software Process Library for
Process
-
Driven Software Development,
Proc.7th. Annual Knowledge
-
Based Software
Engineering Conference
, IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 122
-
131, September
1992.



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P. Mi and W. Scacchi, A Knowledge
-
based Environment for Modeling and Simulating
Software Engineering Processes.
IEEE Trans. Knowledge and Data Engineering
, 2(3),
283
-
294, Sept 1990.


P. Mi and W. Scacchi, Process Integration in CASE Environments,
I
EEE Software
, 9(2),
45
-
53, March 1992.


P. Mi and W. Scacchi, Articulation: An Integrative Approach to Diagnosis, Replanning,
and Rescheduling,
Proc. 8th. Annual Knowledge
-
Based Software Engineering
Conference,
Chicago, IL, IEEE Computer Society, 77
-
85, Se
ptember 1993.



P. Mi and W. Scacchi, A Meta
-
Model for Formulating Knowledge
-
Based Models of
Software Development.
Decision Support Systems
, 17(3), 313
-
330. 1996.



J. Noll and W. Scacchi, Specifying Process
-
Oriented Hypertext for Organizational
Computing,

J. Network and Computer Applications
, 24(1), 39
-
61, 2001.


W. Orlikowski and C.S. Iacono, Research Commentary
-

Desperately Seeking the "IT" in
IT Research: A Call to Theorizing the IT Artifact,
Information Systems Research
, 12(2),
June 2001.


W. Scacchi,
Understanding Software Productivity: Towards a Knowledge
-
Based
Approach, in D. Hurley (ed.),
Advances in Software Engineering and Knowledge
Engineering
, Volume 4, (1995).


W. Scacchi, Modeling, Simulating, and Enacting Complex Organizational Processes: A
L
ife Cycle Approach, in M. Prietula, K. Carley, and L. Gasser (eds.),
Simulating
Organizations: Computational Models of Institutions and Groups
, AAAI Press/MIT
Press, Menlo Park, CA, 153
-
168, 1998.


W. Scacchi, Experience with Software Process Simulation an
d Modeling,
J. Systems and
Software
, 46, 183
-
192, 1999.


W. Scacchi and P. Mi, Process Life Cycle Engineering: A Knowledge
-
Based Approach
and Environment,
Intern. J. Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance, and
Management
, 6(1), 83
-
107, 1997.


W. Scacch
i and J. Noll, Process
-
Driven Intranets: Life Cycle Support for Process
Reengineering,
IEEE Internet Computing
, 1(5), 42
-
49, 1997.


A. Valente, T. Russ, R. MacGregor, W. Swartout, Building and (re)using an ontology of
air campaign planning,
IEEE Intelligen
t Systems
, 14(1), 27
-
36, Jan.
-
Feb. 1999.


A. Valente and W. Scacchi, Developing a Knowledge Web for Business Process
Redesign,
1999 Knowledge Acquisition Workshop
, Banff, Canada, October 1999.



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