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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Model management and structured modeling: the role of an information resource dictionary system

Models have historically occupied an ambiguous position within organizations. Management acceptance of management science and operations research models for decision-making has lagged far behind technical advances in these areas. Structured modeling has emerged as a unifying approach to the modeling process with potential to reduce this ambiguity. Structured modeling is primarily oriented to the individual, however. A way of incorporating structured modeling into the organizational framework via existing information resource channels is discussed. A relational model is presented for an information resource dictionary system (IRDS). This IRDS model is then extended to accommodate representation of structured models. This extension of the IRDS can answer queries about structured modeling as well as model instances. The concept of an active IRDS is introduced and an example presented of how an active IRDS can be linked with an optimization algorithm. The conclusion is that the IRDS is a suitable vehicle for incorporating model management and structured modeling as part of an organization's information resource management environment.

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