The Event Construct in Active Information Systems
16 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2006
Date Written: March 22, 2006
Organizations and the information systems that support them are artificial and intentionally designed artifacts. Policies and procedures created by an organization define how specific events affect the states of things about which the organization is concerned. Active information systems are designed to participate in the operation and management of organizational processes. They calculate and ascribe state to material and artificial things according to rules designed by the organization and activated when identified events occur. The ontological definition of an event as a state-transition proscribes the representation of events as entities. The resultant conceptualization of an information system as a state-tracking mechanism obscures the critical role that events play in active information systems. Effective analysis and design of such systems requires a more substantive ontological definition of an event as an entity having both identity and properties. Included in an event's properties are the rules that govern state transitions caused by the event. The resultant conceptualization of an information system is an event-processing mechanism, actively interpreting and re-interpreting events with respect to extant and posed rules. This ontological definition treats things and events uniformly as entities enabling them to have appropriate representations at the conceptual level. It provides a context in which learning can be represented through the definition, identification, and classification of critical events and the evaluation and evolution of rules governing their effects. Additional research is needed to develop and evaluate conceptual modeling grammars and methods that implement this event conceptualization within an information system development methodology.
Keywords: Data modeling, event construct, ontology
JEL Classification: M10, M40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation