The NIAM Information Analysis Method : Theory and Practice
About information analysis Everywhere people are working, they are communicating or exchanging informa- tion about their work. Unless they come to reasonable agreements about this communication, i.e., agreements describing the "language" of their communica- tion so that they can understand each other's information, sooner or later there will be such a "Tower of Babel" that their goal of communication will be doomed to failure. There are a lot of places wh~re some of the communication between people working together is being carried out via an information system. In these cases too, a clear agreement about communication must be made, so that people communi- cating via an information system can understand each other at all times. In such an agreement, it is determined which data may be exchanged with the information system and the meaning everyone should assign to that data. For communication taking place via an information system, such an agreement is called a "grammar" or a "conceptual schemea" of this information system. "Information analysis" is that field and also that phase of development of an information system in which the grammar or the conceptual schemea of the information system is determined. The grammar or the conceptual scheme is an essential part of the specifications of present-day information systems.
- Hardback | 484 pages
- 01 Dec 1990
- Dordrecht, Netherlands
- 1990 ed.
- 484 p.
Table of contents
1 The NIAM Method of Information Analysis.- 1.1 Knowledge, information, and communication.- 1.2 The information system.- 1.3 The development of an information system.- 1.3.1 Object system analysis and information analysis.- 1.3.2 Design and construction.- 1.4 The main principles of the NIAM method of information analysis.- 1.5 Summary.- 2 An Information System Model.- 2.1 The message exchange with the environment.- 2.2 The information base.- 2.3 The grammar.- 2.4 The information processor.- 2.5 Summary.- 3 From Object System Analysis to Information Analysis.- 3.1 The organization of the library.- 3.2 The activity diagram.- 3.3 The information system within the object system.- 3.4 From object system analysis to information analysis.- 3.5 The information flow diagram.- 4 The Structure of Information.- 4.1 A more detailed definition of information.- 4.2 Elementary propositions.- 4.3 Lexical and non-lexical objects.- 4.4 Facts, ideas, and bridges.- 4.5 Non-lexical and lexical object types.- 4.6 Fact types, idea types, and bridge types.- 4.7 Facts and rules.- 4.8 Static constraints and transition constraints.- 5 Describing Information.- 5.1 The natural language principle.- 5.2 A general structural formula for elementary sentences.- 5.3 Elementary deep structure sentences.- 5.4 Elementary sentence types.- 5.5 Sentences of the same type with different predicates.- 5.6 Population tables.- 5.7 A general structural formula for elementary sentence types.- 5.8 A graphical representation for elementary deep structure sentences.- 5.9 A graphical representation for elementary sentence types.- 5.10 Describing the grammar of an information system.- 5.11 The information structure diagram.- 5.12 References to roles and role populations.- 5.13 References to subsets and combinations of role populations.- 5.14 Graphical and non-graphical constraints.- 5.15 The operation of an information system.- 6 The NIAM Method of Information Analysis in Practice - 1.- 6.1 The catalog card.- 6.2 The first addition to the catalog card.- 6.3 Summary.- 7. Graphical Constraints Involving one Fact Type.- 7.1 Uniqueness constraints.- 7.2 Some examples of uniqueness constraints.- 7.3 Uniqueness constraints involving bridge types.- 7.4 Totality constraints.- 7.5 Totality constraints involving bridge types.- 7.6 Referenceability.- 7.7 An abridged notation for bridge types.- 8 The NIAM Method of Information Analysis in Practice - 2.- 9 Graphical Constraints Involving Multiple Fact Types.- 9.1 Equality constraints.- 9.2 Subset constraints.- 9.3 Exclusion constraints.- 9.4 Implied equality and subset constraints.- 10 Graphical Constraints Involving Combinations of Roles.- 10.1 Subset constraints involving combinations of roles.- 10.2 Exclusion constraints involving combinations of roles.- 10.3 Uniqueness constraints involving roles of different fact types.- 10.4 Totality constraints involving combinations of roles.- 10.5 Referenceability.- 10.6 Idea types involving one object type.- 11 The NIAM Method of Information Analysis in Practice - 3.- 11.1 The classification system.- 11.2 Primary and secondary categories.- 11.3 Translations.- 11.4 The loan card.- 11.5 Historical information.- 11.6 Summary.- 12 Fact Types Consisting of More Than Two Roles.- 12.1 Unique combinations of roles in ternary sentence types.- 12.2 Implied uniqueness constraints.- 12.3 Unique roles in ternary sentence types.- 12.4 The n-1 rule.- 12.5 Replacing non-binary fact types by binary fact types.- 13 The NIAM Method of Information Analysis in Practice - 4.- 13.1 The reservation card.- 13.2 The day number sequence 305 13.3 Summary.- 14 Fact Types Consisting of one Role.- 14.1 Unary sentence types and unary fact types.- 14.2 Subtypes.- 14.3 Constraints with respect to subtypes.- 14.4 Object type families.- 14.5 Introducing subtypes into an information structure diagram.- 15 The NIAM Method of Information Analysis in Practice - 5.- 16 Non-Graphical Constraints.- 16.1 Value constraints.- 16.2 Cardinality constraints.- 16.3 Subtype defining constraints.- 16.4 Other non-graphical constraints.- 16.5 Non-graphical descriptions of graphical constraints.- 16.6 Derivable fact types.- 16.7 Transition constraints.- 16.8 Summary.- 17 The NIAM Method of Information Analysis in Practice - 6.- Appendix 1: The data model.- Appendix 2: Definitions, symbols, principles, rules and analysis steps.- References and Bibliography.