I00069 (I00069)
Modelleren van organisaties*
< 2006/2007 > 05-02-2007 t/m 01-07-2007 () L
Informatiekunde - Bachelor (2003) Subject van verandering en bestendiging (6 ec)
6 ec (168 uur) : 28 uur plenair college, 0 uur groepsgewijs college, 0 uur computerpracticum, 0 uur 'droog' practicum, 0 uur gesprekken met de docent, 18 uur onderling overleg met medestudenten (werkgroepen, projectwerk e.d.), 38 uur zelfstudie
6 ec * 28 u/ec + #std * (1 + 6ec * 0.75 u/student/ec)


prof. dr. Erik Proper

speciale web-site


Organizations can by found anywhere. A University is an organization, a sports club is an organization, a bank is one, government departments are, etc. Organizations are everywhere. In our modern western society, most organizations use some information systems to support the activities of the organization. Large parts of these information systems are likely to be computerized.

Organizations and (computerized) information systems are examples of so-called work-systems. For information system engineers it is relevant to be able to model relevant aspects of the design of such systems. This may be the design of a currently existing system or the design of the future evolution/development of the current system. In this course we will discuss several examples of work-systems from organizational, information systems, biological and sociological domains.

This course is a part of the Da Vinci series of courses.


After this course, students are able to:

  1. given a case-description of an work-system (such as an organization):
    1. produce models for different aspects of this system,
    2. understand and evaluate given models of that system,
  2. argue about, and prove, properties regarding the syntax & semantics of the models,
  3. reason about the link between an work-system's strategy, and the services & processes it uses to realize this strategy,
  4. reason about the position of work-system modeling the context of information systems engineering.



  1. Work-systems as a generalization of organizations and information systems
  2. Temporal ordering, actors, actions, actands.
  3. Activity modeling.
  4. Actor modeling.
  5. Actand modeling.
  6. Design patterns.
  7. Work-system strategy.



  • Organizations, information systems and their history.

  • Generalization to work-systems.

    Organizational systems, information systems and computerised information systems are all examples of ``work systems'' (is-a). Furthemore, a CIS is part-of an IS and an IS is part-of an OS.

    Examples from all three classes of systems. Also mention the knowledge / information / data discussion. Information systems are treated as a generalisation of these three classes.

  • Formal/informal structure
  • Why a fundamental view?

  • Why a formal approach?

Modeling Foundations

This part provides, to some extent, a repetition of domain modeling. However, this time around we can provide a more fundamental discussion of some of the philosophical and linguistic foundations of modeling.


  • Exploration of `systems'.
  • Observing systems (subjectivity; Peirce)
  • Studying systems
  • Knowledge, information and data.
  • Classes of work systems: organization, information- & knowledge intensive organizations, information & knowledge systems, computerized information & knowledge systems.
  • Evolution of systems

Basic Object-Role Modeling

This chapter provides a summary of domain modeling, embedded in the formalization of the previous chapter.
  • Natural language grounding of modeling
  • The logbook heuristic
  • Elementary facts
  • From instances to types

Object-Role Calculus

  • Object Role Calculus (ORCa) = Fact Calculus Lisa-D Time FORML
  • Path expressions as a formal foundation
  • ORCa expressions as verbalisations
  • Graphical constraints
  • Temporal constraints

Advanced Object-Role Modeling

  • Subtyping: Specialization & Generalization
  • Decomposition
  • Complex types

The Act of Modeling

A reflection on the act of modeling
  • What to model? Intended audience/goals.
  • The modeling challenge
  • Ambition levels for modeling
  • Meeting the challenge

Natural-language Foundations of Work-Systems Modeling

  • Actions, actors, actands and predications

  • LAP based heuristics for selection of the concept flavors: action, actor, actand and predication
  • Temporal ordering (temporal constraints) of actions.

Modeling Work-Systems

Now we switch to modeling languages dedicated to work-systems modeling. We will, however, each time show how they can be regareded as `sugared' versions of the ORM based models. The refined semantics of these `sugared' versions will therefore also be expressed in terms of ORCa rather than predicate calculus.

The notation will be based on the ArchiMate notation. However, it is more important to have a notation that ties well to our theoretical approach and has a similar look-and-feel across the spectrum. We should not just import a lot of relevant notations, but rather `incorporate' them if needed. In addition, mapping to appropriate other modeling languages like UML and the languages used in SAP should be provided.

Activity Modeling

  • Activity types (internal & external view of composed actions)

  • Interaction case (like UML's use case, but `using' has a biased co-notation. A work-system is not always some inanimate object one `uses'.).

  • Syntax of YAWL^+ (YAWL with some ArchiMate-ish extensions pertaining to actors and actands, rather the other way around. ArchiMate notation extended with YAWL-like triggering symbols.).

  • Work-flow patterns

  • Formalization of syntax as specialization of ORM domain models.

  • Formalization of process semantics based on ``petri-net'' like semantics.

    Preferably in ORCa.

  • Formalization of process semantics using a statistical approach.

    In terms of probabilities.

  • Mapping to UML activity diagrams, but also to SAP, etc.

Actor Modeling

Modeling actors and their responsibilities. Activity modeling starts out from an explicit notion of an interaction-case with a pre-defined flow of work. One could also, however, focus on the responsibilities of actors. This is what we will do in this chapter.

This chapter will be heavily based on the Organisational Dynamics course as it is currently taught by NICI. It needs to be integrated with the structure of the rest of this course. Also, can be use an ArchiMate-ish notation? At any rate a notation with a similar look-and-feel should be used for activity, actor and actand modeling.

  • Actor-Role modeling (ORM-ish interpretation of AGR-Modeling)

    Note: we need to clarify the relation between agents/actors, roles, role-types and actor-types. Also check the ``business concepts'' article on business-roles, etc.

    Proposal: AGR.Agent = Actor, AGR.Group = Composed actor, AGR.Role = ORM.Object Type, Involvement of AGR.Role in AGR.Interaction/Transfer = ORM.Role Type, AGR.Interaction/Transfer = a kind of ORM.Fact type.

  • Modeling the behavior of actors

    Role dynamics / transfer dynamics / Role interaction dynamics / Group dynamics / Group interaction dynamics / Organization dynamics

  • Specification of dynamic properties

    Informal / Semi-formal / Formal

    Relationship to ORCa versus path expression/rel. alg.?

  • Inter level dynamics

  • Dynamics of work-system realization (type - instance ??)

    Aren't these the semantics of the above discussed dynamic properties?

  • Simulation of work-system behavior

    Scenario's? Cf. the CRC-card games in UML/RUP?

  • Actor-meeting interaction protocol

    How (if at all) does this relate to collaboration as in ``collaboration engineering/CSCW'' and as in ``collaboration diagrams'' from UML

Actand Modeling

  • Not much to say about this.
  • Just use ORM to describe the actands.

Service Modeling

  • Abstracted view on activities
  • Service states and transitions
  • SLA's
  • Mapping to UML

Work Rules Modeling

``Business Rules'' generalized to work-systems.
  • Re-visit of constraints in a business rules context.

Analysis and Design of Work-Systems

Analysing Classes of Work-Systems

  • Biological systems
  • Sociological systems
  • Technological systems
  • Organizational Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Computerised Information Systems

Paradigms for Work-Systems Design

  • Coordination & control
  • Brain/Organism/Machine/...
  • Matrix/network/...
  • Mintzberg configurations
  • Self organization

Strategy-driven Design of Work-Systems

  • Goals/mission
  • Strategy
  • Structure follows strategy, or strategy follows structure?
  • Design approach and types of design
  • Design as refinement of requirements
  • Models for deliberation and modification
  • Strategic management
  • Enables/disablers of change:

    7-Ss framework; social, technical & cultural issues


  1. Lectures
  2. Tutorials

Vereiste voorkennis

  1. Domain Modeling
  2. Formeel denken


  1. Integrated examination
  2. Three sub-exams


  1. Storage and Retrieval


  1. Lecture notes
Will be made available electronically.

Evaluatie: studentenquêtes ; geen docentevaluatie bekend Rendement: 60 begonnen, echt meegedaan, geslaagd met 1e kans, geslaagd totaal