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A Data/Knowledge Paradigm for the Modeling and Design of Operations Support Systems
March-April 1997 (vol. 9 no. 2)
pp. 275-291

Abstract—This paper develops the Smart Object paradigm and its instantiation, which provide a new conceptualization for the modeling, design, and development of an important but little researched class of information systems, Operations Support Systems (OSS). OSS is our term for systems which provide interactive support for the management of large, complex operations environments, such as manufacturing plants, military operations, and large power generation facilities. The most salient feature of OSS' is their dynamic nature. The number and kind of elements composing the system as well as the mode of control of those elements change frequently in response to the environment. The abstraction of control and the ease with which complex dynamic control behavior can be modeled and simulated is one of the important aspects of the paradigm. The framework for the Smart Object paradigm is the fusion of object-oriented design models with declarative knowledge representation and active inferencing from AI models. Additional defining concepts from data/knowledge models, semantic data models, active databases, and frame based systems, are added to the synthesis as justified by their contribution to the ability to naturally model OSS at a high level of abstraction. The model assists in declaratively representing domain data/knowledge and its structure, and task or process knowledge, in addition to modeling multilevel control and interobject coordination.

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Index Terms:
Operations support systems, modeling control abstractions, knowledge bases, databases, object model, semantic data model, production system model.
Vijay K. Vaishnavi, Gary C. Buchanan, William L. Kuechler Jr., "A Data/Knowledge Paradigm for the Modeling and Design of Operations Support Systems," IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 275-291, March-April 1997, doi:10.1109/69.591452
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