@Matt - I encourage you to see economics in its full sense of "exchange of goods" beyond the monetary level. It is the economic facet that enables enterprise learning, which is, of course, the foundational activity of an enterprise (he who learns fastest wins).
Good luck on your Conference. Sorry I cannot be there.
On Aug 22, 2010, at 10:13 AM, Doug McDavid wrote:
@Jack -- I agree that all this ontological tech should be infrastructural. That's why I don't expect prison wardens to be forced to speak in any version of FOL. But if the IT systems that wardens, guards, dispatchers, transporters, inmate intake personnel, etc. do not support the ways they think, operate, and interoperate, then they can be worse than useless -- actually become impediments that the folks on the ground have to work around to get their jobs done. I have hopes that some ontologists in the trenches (guard towers, loading docks) can help improve this situation. They have to be willing to get elbows deep in actual domain language, but there are lot's worse ways to navigate the downturn, sez I.
@Matt -- It goes without saying between us that I agree with your points of view, most especially the view that enterprise *is a* system. With Korzybski's caveat, of course, that "whatever you SAY a thing is, it is NOT." Let's just say an enterprise can (most) productively be viewed through systemic concepts, and a big part of that is the system of natural language that can be found by an alert observer.
1) Yes - enterprise semantic / ontology and language systems should
be part of the infrastructure. That is where I put it in my EA
artifacts and that is where they are realized in the enterprise.
2). I agree with your aspects but add more e.g. *semiotics, ontology
and language*, and law, your economics I name Economics Finance and
Accounting (not sure if it is equivalent), your human social
dynamics I include in "the enterprise *is a* system - in the
(general) systems-theoretic sense (which by definition includes
social systems, ecology, and complexity, adaptation, learning).
[This is where I part company with 99.9% of the EA community who
don't / won't consider enterprises in this way - my ontological
commitment is different]
Now I will go back and stay in my hole - maybe.
On 8/22/2010 10:54 AM, Jack Ring wrote:
IDEF to represent some enterprise learning the IDEF
crowd never provided for modeling systems that learn (adjust
(gradients), arrange (pattern of relationships) and co-learn
(acquisition, allocation and scheduling of resources)). Maybe they
have and I am simply out of date. Prof. Dan Shunk, ASU, invented
the Double Diagonal IDEF.
Regardless, I applaud your idea. A good therapy for modern
ontologists would be to have them correlate to IDEF5.
FWIW, our work has shown us that the intelligent enterprise
architecture must provide for at least seven aspects, notably,
thermodynamics, informatics, biometrics, teleonomics, human
social dynamics, economics and ecologics.
When implementing an architecture we often sift some
functions and features into a facet of the system usually
called the infrastructure. I think the enterprise ontology
(including its many "nyms" bridges) should be part of the
infrastructure, certainly not part of the aesthetic decor.
OBTW, an enterprise ontology must change (or be changed) as
usage occurs and time passes (context changes). Accordingly,
an enterprise model must have 'ontology' as one of its nodes
with provisions for morphing that node. Yes, the bibliography
must include a citation for the bibliography.
On Aug 22, 2010, at 7:46 AM, Doug McDavid wrote:
@Jack! Cool to see you out
here, at this convergence of erudition -- the OntoEAs!
Your statement is nicely put.
You know, I wonder if it's time to dust off IDEF5 --
the ontology aspect of the IDEF universe. There is
some wisdom out there that the old boys thought of,
back in the day.
Makes sense to me. I see an enterprise as
a system of human beings who have a
reasonably common Purpose along with an
enabling set of Principles and Practices and
an empowering set of facilities and
machinery. I see enterprise architecture as
the arrangement of function and feature that
maximizes the objective function of that
system. A reasonably common language is a
fundamental feature of such an enterprise
just as a reasonably common schema is a
fundamental feature of their information
system machinery. Some enterprises may find
that taxonomies are sufficient but an
intelligent, living enterprise must have a
On Aug 22, 2010, at 4:51 AM, Doug
Let me present a fairly simple,
but real, example of what I am
talking about (hoping to find
similar interest among this august
confluence of ontology and
My current project is
enterprise architecture for the
California state prison system.
In that system there is a word
commonly used, across different
departments, and that word is
"bed". It is almost immediately
obvious that in this (set of)
domain(s), that word does not have
the common, everyday connotation
of a piece of furniture primarily
used for sleeping. I would say
that I just expressed an
ontological positioning of the
word bed as used in contexts that
everyone is familiar with.
However, in the prison
(corrections and rehabilitation)
context, "bed" means much more.
What it means is the cell
location for a particular inmate.
It is their entire living
quarters though maybe not eating,
maybe not recreational, depending
on the institution. Because of
the variance among institutions
the word "bed" may bring social
considerations, such as, should
this inmate have a cell-mate, are
there any gang-related issues to
restrict the "bed" to a certain
cell-block, what level of security
must be maintained for this inmate
(maximum security, etc.). Is this
inmate a celebrity prisoner, of
which we have our share in
California, from Charles Manson to
I am not hoping to transform
wardens and prison housing
administrators into ontologists,
such that their work register
becomes a precise, logicalized
patois. I am saying that it is
incumbent on enterprise architects
to understand the institutional
architecture within they are
working, and reflect that back to
designers and decision-makers. I
am also saying that such
reflection would benefit from the
rigorous understanding of meaning
that I keep hoping is the mission
of those who have taken up the
banner of ontology.
Why am I concerned (in this
example)? Partly because I see
daily e-mails about beds becoming
available in various institutions
(whose names you might recognize
-- Pelican Bay, etc.). Now, as a
lowly sub-contractor working
through a smallish consultancy
that is in turn contracted with
CDCR in conjunction with an IT
system where HP is the prime, it
seems strange to me that
institutional confinement space
allocation goes out as a broadcast
e-mail, such that I get it. And
this concern arises directly from
an interest in classifying and
unpacking what the enterprise is
saying to itself, in its own
natural, but parochial, language.
Does any of this make sense to
anyone here? I think it is both
entertaining and useful, but then
no one ever said I was normal!
Sweden, UK and US
have been working on a
formal ontology to
efforts – www.ideasgroup.org
released so far is the
foundation - http://www.ideasgroup.org/foundation/
- but quite a bit more
has been done on
building patterns for
etc. The foundation
has been used
to underpin the DoDAF
2.0 meta-model (DM2) –
though the resulting
meta-model isn’t what
most people would
recognise as an
Swedish Armed Forces
are investigating how
the MODAF Meta-Model
UML Profile) could be
re-engineered into a
formal ontology based
Zachman was over in
the UK in March for
conference and had
some discussions with
UK MOD on ontology and
architecture. From the
brief conversations I
had with him, he
ontology in general.