Collaborative Modeling and Analysis of Enterprise-wide Information Systems Integration Requirements with Semantic Search and Reusability Guidance

Project: Research

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Enterprise systems integration is an important ongoing activity in organizations with large and complex IT infrastructures, which require solid integration architecture to enhance business flexibility and agility. To establish such architectures, it is necessary to identify, model and analyze the integration requirements of numerous stakeholders. The entire process needs elaborate collaboration, coordination, and negotiation among the various stakeholders from both business and technical groups.The Principal Investigator recently completed a GRF project that included the development and evaluation of a conceptual modeling technique for identifying and specifying the services and events required by each system as individual model fragments, and then synthesizing those fragments to obtain enterprise-wide integration requirements. The final evaluation of this modeling technique highlighted certain challenges that need to be addressed. In particular, it identified the need to support collaboration among stakeholders who cannot be co-located, and to deal with the evolving nature of the integration requirements identified by those stakeholders; to address the scalability problems related to the technique especially with respect to collaboration and negotiation; and to improve the identification and specification of reusable services and events.The project will build upon the developed modeling technique, following a design science research methodology for building and evaluation of key components of the proposed framework environment. The framework will include a semantic search and matching algorithm for finding services and events, and an algorithm for technical group members to identify similar services and events to enhance reusability. This project will develop a prototype system to help stakeholders from business and technical groups in modeling and resolving differences through an iterative and incremental process performed in an asynchronous and distributed mode. These algorithms and the prototype system will be evaluated by using it in a graduate systems integration course that has a typical enrolment of about 100 students.This applied research will contribute to the development of two algorithms to address the challenging problems of identifying integration requirements around the proposed framework. The requirement specifications produced by several stakeholders in an organization using such a system can be effectively and efficiently used to determine the enterprise integration architectures and the subsequent selection of suitable integration technologies. Finally, the design principles and framework used in this project can be adapted for other types of environments, such as large-scale software systems development, and one-of-a-kind complex systems that inherently necessitate the specification of requirements by several stakeholders.


Project number9042128
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/09/1420/11/15

    Research areas

  • systems integration,requirements elicitation,collaborative modeling,requirements specification,