טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
Ph.D Thesis
Ph.D StudentAlexander Blekhman
SubjectModel-Based Documents Authoring with Object-Process
Methodology (OPM)
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Full Professor Dori Dov
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

The rapid development of system complexities has accelerated the pace of searching for an intuitive yet formal way to convey structured, exact, and supposedly well-defined information, such as requirements and designs of new systems, conditions and processes, structure definitions, testing and execution instructions, and operation guidelines to be followed.

This thesis presents the development and evaluation of a generic formal procedure, an underlying ontology and language, and a complementary integrated software environment for the authoring and management of structured model-based documents.

This model-centric approach is formalized as the Model-Based Document Authoring (MBDA) methodology. It consists of the following major elements:

1.         Ontology and a language, called Tesperanto (short for Technical Esperanto),

2.         Guidelines and templates for Model-Based Document Authoring, and

3.         An integrated software environment for model-based document authoring, called Model-Based Authoring of Specifications Environment (MBASE).

The MBDA methodology stems from the model-based systems engineering (MBSE) paradigm and uses Object-Process Methodology (OPM) as its underlying formalism. Documents created by following this methodology are based on an underlying unified formal OPM model that jointly and concurrently represents the function, structure, and behavior of the document's technical content. Following this approach, specifications contained in the document are bound to be significantly more consistent, unambiguous, and exact than their text-based counterparts that lack the formality that an underlying model adds.

A focal MBDA evaluation avenue was taken with ISO, the International Organization for Standardization. Within ISO TC/184 SC/5 OPM Working Group, leading experts were engaged in evaluating MBDA for over two years, and their input was incorporated into evolving the MBDA framework. The tests of Model-Based Authoring of Specifications Environment, MBASE, included several iterations of implementation and usage with structured and free format texts, including requirements documents, scientific articles, and enterprise standards. Complementary evaluation paths included observations, conducting questionnaires in several test scenarios and an industrial case study in the medical domain.

The current version of the MBDA methodology, along with its MBASE tools, is applicable for document authoring by domain experts who need not be trained in conceptual modeling. The MBDA platform allows for various extensions, including semantic web, machine translation, and advanced, semantics-based information retrieval. The current MBASE implementation can be extended in these directions as needed.