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  1. OMG Issue

SBVR15 — Inadequate, Overlapping and Disorganized Specs for Sets and Collections of Concepts, Meanings, and Representations

  • Key: SBVR15-39
  • Legacy Issue Number: 17542
  • Status: open  
  • Source: Business Rule Solutions, LLC ( Ron Ross)
  • Summary:

    Inadequate, Overlapping and Disorganized Specifications for Sets and Collections of Concepts, Meanings, and Representations

    Problem:

    Assumptions

    Two assumptions are basic to the eight points of this problem statement:
    • SBVR must provide a business vocabulary for business people and business analysts to talk clearly and precisely about terminological dictionaries and rulebooks and what they represent.
    • The various aspects of this Issue must be addressed holistically. They can be resolved only by unifying, normalizing and completing all related specifications. (Thus, the need for a new unifying Issue.)

    Problems

    1. A known problem in SBVR is that the current version does not make clear what the fundamental unit of interoperability in SBVR is. No matter how that issue is resolved the unit should:
    • Be identifiable from a business point of view.
    • Not always have to be the full, non-redundant set of concepts, meanings, or representations.
    The existing content of Clause 11 does not currently provide an adequate term for the second of these. This Issue proposes “collection” for that purpose.

    Note: The term “collection” in the following discussion is never actually used on its own. Rather, it always appears with qualification – e.g., ‘collection of representations’.

    2. Another known problem in SBVR centers on the use of the word “container” in e-mails and discussion. (Use of the signifier “container” per se is not part of this Issue.) It is unclear (to some) whether “container” refers to the ‘thing that contains’, to ‘what is contained’, or to both. The term is easily misused and misinterpreted. Also there are many variations of what is (or could be) contained (e.g., sets, collections, etc.). SBVR needs a precise, non-overlapping vocabulary for these things from a business point of view.

    3. Another known problem in SBVR is that the existing content of Clause 11.2.2.3 “communication content” (a.k.a. “document content”) is not adequate for all purposes to which it might be put. SBVR needs a richer (but still minimal) set of concepts to address this area.

    4. Certain existing terms in the existing content of Clause 11 (e.g., ‘terminological dictionary’ and ‘rulebook’) conflate ‘completeness and non-redundancy’ (i.e., being a set) with ‘primary purpose’ or ‘essence’. This conflation needs to be eliminated. In the real world for example, a rulebook does not have to be complete (e.g., it may contain only what is appropriate for a given audience), and it does not have to be non-redundant. It can contain the same rule statements in different sections, the intent being to provide the greatest clarity when being used by members of some speech community.

    5. SBVR currently provides no means to talk about a collection of representations that is complete with respect to one or more specific concepts, but not complete with respect to all concepts in the body of shared meanings. Example: A listing of all baseball rules that address the concepts “strike” and “ball” only.

    6. With respect to interoperability there is a minimum set of pragmatic business specifications (such as completeness, effective date, shelf life, mutability, etc.) needed for things communicated. SBVR does not currently support such specifications.

    Note: There is no intent or need to get into document management or rule management. The dividing line is this: SBVR does not get into organizational issues (e.g., author, sponsor, reviewer, etc.), workflow issues (e.g., status, pre-approval distribution, sign-off, impact assessment, etc.), motivation (rationale, goals, risks), etc. SBVR must, however, provide minimum viability criteria for any sets or collections communicated. Otherwise the communicated content is not really useful and trustworthy on the receiving end. Consequently the purpose of interoperability is defeated.

    7. Certain kinds of collections relevant to inter-operability are missing from the current content of Clause 11 – most notably ‘record’ (not IT ‘records’). Proper incorporation of this and other kinds of collections is needed.

    8. Issue 16103, which addresses “speech community representation”, needs to be worked into a holistic solution.

  • Reported: SBVR 1.1 — Tue, 7 Aug 2012 04:00 GMT
  • Updated: Tue, 3 Jan 2017 13:19 GMT