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The functional-entity relationship diagram: conceptual modelling for complex knowledge systems

Pigott, D. and Hobbs, V.J. (2009) The functional-entity relationship diagram: conceptual modelling for complex knowledge systems. In: 20th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, 2 - 4 December, Melbourne pp. 952-963.

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Designing and building a knowledge management system involves ensuring that the right facts can be called upon to answer the question at hand, and coordinating a number of disparate resources. Modelling such resources can be problematical as there is currently no formalism that can represent the nature of the dataseeking process at a conceptual level. We introduce the functional entity (FE), an encapsulated data resource that acts as a question-answering system, and identify nine different functional entities based on three main types of question-answer entailment: instance-dominant, value-dominant, and connection-dominant. We use functional entities to develop a generalisation of the Entity-Relationship Diagram (ERD), the Functional-Entity Relationship Diagram (FERD), which can be used for high level conceptual modelling of heterogeneous KM systems, and illustrate its use with a case study. We also show how the establishment of standard types of functional entity motivates practical guidelines for the conversion of the design to the implementation level.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Information Technology
Publisher: ACIS
Copyright: Diarmuid J Pigott & Valerie J Hobbs © 2009
Notes: Proceedings of the 20th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, edited by Helana Scheepers & Michael Davern, 952-963, Melbourne: Monash University of Technology, 2009.
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