Using the Guidelines

2 Using the Guidelines

Guidelines' Type and Level Attributes

Each guideline is annotated with a set of attributes of the form (Level, Type), where Level is: Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced, and Type is: Concept, Naming, Notation, Layout, Methodology, or Evaluation.

If a guideline is given more than one Category attribute, this means this guideline probably spans more than one Category. The objective of explicitly annotating the guidelines with these attributes is to help the users of the i* Guide to browse through or retrieve the guidelines based on any dimension of these attributes. This annotation also gives i* concerned researchers an idea about the current distribution and coverage of the guidelines over the spectrum of the annotated attributes.

The following is an explanation of each of the terms pertaining to Level and Category attributes:

Guidelines' Level attribute:
Beginner This level assumes that the modeler is a new user of i* modeling framework and has not been exposed to it previously
Intermediate This level assumes that the modeler has been exposed to and used i* modeling framework to some extent and and is familiar with the fundamental i* guidelines
Advanced This level is for modelers who acquired substantial knowledge about using and applying i*

Guidelines' Type attribute:
Concept deals with guidelines that clarifies issues surrounding fundamental understanding of the i* framework
Naming deals with how the actors, links, and elements are named. It also covers issues related to using colors and other non-conventional icons
Notation deals with the proper selection and use of i* notation such as elements, actors, and links
Layout deals with the arrangement and organization of i* models and the way the contents of the models appear and are placed. It also covers issues related to modeling space and complexity
Methodology deals with the procedural choices or approaches that can help in attaining an overall systematic modeling process.
Evaluation deals with using i* models to evaluate the satisfaction or denial of Actors’ intentional elements and strategic dependencies. Violating Evaluation guidelines could lead to incorrect or weak reasoning about the rational behind the satisfaction or denial of Actors’ intentional elements and strategic dependencies

Also, the Guide presents both i* Glossary and the related Guidelines in sections 4 to 10 to better organize the Guide and help the reader relate between the presented glossary and the associated guidelines more effectively and efficiently. The glossary provides the definitions for i* notation, vocabulary, and modeling language. The guidelines proceed after the glossary to provide recommendations, discussions, illustrations on the use of the i* modeling language. Therefore, in order to maximize the understandability and the return from using the Guide, it is recommended that the new i* users get acquainted first with the glossary and fundamental definitions of i* before proceeding to the guidelines and their associated discussions.

Labels Used in the Guidelines' Illustrations

The majority of the guidelines have illustrations and examples associated with them. Some labels such as correct, wrong, incomplete, and recommended are used to clarify a modeling case or scenario. The following is a brief explanation of each of these labels.

Correct: indicates that the example model conforms to the “standard” i* notation and fundamental concepts covered by the current i* style of the University of Toronto. Where applicable, however, the guideline’s discussion refers the reader to other i* notations and styles that do not conform to the standard i* notation.

Wrong: indicates that the example model violates the standard i* notation and fundamental concepts. Efforts should be made by the modeler to develop i* compliant models or rectify erroneous ones to maximize the accuracy and analytical benefit of the models.

Incomplete: indicates that the example model does not violate the fundamental i* notation. It indicates that the state of the model is not wrong, but rather “unfinished.” Some of the reasons for developing unfinished or incomplete models include insufficient information about the knowledge domain, the model is still in an early development stage, or the modeler would like to minimize the complexity of the model by eliminating less vital information. It is recommended that modelers try to complete unfinished models, especially if the models are to be used for analysis.

Recommended: indicates that the example model does not violate the fundamental i* concepts or notation. This type of label deals mainly with stylistic and aesthetic recommendations. Following such recommendations can enhance the overall presentation and readability of the models.

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Created by system. Last Modification: Tuesday 01 of April, 2008 15:57:48 GMT-0000 by samer.