TROST: Open-System Trustworthiness

i050809 TROST InfoNote
Navigational Data Model


0.75 2011-11-12 -21:29 -0800

1. Overview

1.1 Motivation

1.1.1 Digging down into the bootstrap of TROST, it became increasingly clear that pattern languages are an important feature of the protocols by which evidence for trustworthiness is conveyed.  TROST patterns arise in the performances and processes in the cycle of learning and improvement that system producers and adopters are mutually engaged in. 

1.1.2 Looking at system engagement/participation makes for a different kind of pattern than is employed for object-oriented design and programming.  Patterns for processes and activities are more akin to the Christopher Alexander view of pattern languages applied to habitat creation and structuring of spaces for performance and civil use. 

1.1.3 Furthermore, the artifacts are different in the domain where TROST applies.  The artifacts consist of documents, records, and software-deployment materials that have digital and printed forms and that serve as instruments of communication and support among producers and adopters.  Code is a small part of it at this point.

1.1.4 As TROSTing was built up, numerous patterns stood out in the way that web materials are organized and coordinated.  Some of these were old practices, but when revisited as patterns for trustworthiness, my perspective shifted and I became much more deliberate in their application.  This also applied to other forms such as documentation templates and packaging of code and the procedures used to confirm the software also.  As part of the bootstrap process, this material is now being revisited to have the patterns maintained as they have come to be recognized.

1.2 Approach

1.2.1 How can one characterize and convey those artifactual patterns in a way that fits the pattern-language spirit? 

1.2.2 I automatically turned to a form of data-model diagramming that I have been using on-and-off since the mid 1970s as a way of abstracting what I was observing.  At the time, I called these information-system models.  Humbled somewhat by time and experience, I now refer to the diagrams as navigational data models.

1.2.3 Since there is near-unanimous agreement that the world doesnít need yet another data model, I have seriously questioned why I keep returning to these rather than adopting ones that are already well-known.  It is certainly a matter of familiarity and preference:  I invariably use navigational data models as a way to explain other data models to myself.  These are the models that come to mind naturally in my thinking.  That is probably not how they will strike others whoíve internalized one of the well-known modeling approaches. 

1.2.4 Here, for example, is how I portray a classic example in data modeling: the organization of manufacturing product data about parts that may themselves be assemblies used as components of larger assemblies:

Example of Navigational Model with Converse Associations

1.2.5 Although Iíve given the biggest reason ó personal preference ó for pursuing this approach with TROST patterns, there are features of it that I am quite unwilling to give up:

1.2.6 The key test is whether it is easy to gain a sense of the import of one of these diagrams without first having to know how to create it.  I donít think it takes much to to get the sense of these diagrams.  Of course, Iím not a fair test for achievement of that.  I will have some illustrations in a variety of pattern that should test that hypothesis nicely.  Iíll announce a catalog of examples when there are more.  Then we can see how readily-understandable the diagrams are in the descriptions of commonly-used patterns. 

2. Available Materials

see also:
Professor von Clueless: Navigating Data Models (2005-09-02)

Revision History:
0.75 2005-09-03-16:23 Update to reflect notation adjustments
The changes to notation and labels in diagrams are adjusted for and claimed as a feature in section 1.2.5.
0.60 2005-09-02-23:05 Add cover page for Diagramming 0.60
Include a version of the introduction posted to Professor von Clueless.
0.00 2005-08-21-16:57 Establish Placeholder for Pending Material
Also start a job jar page for recording work items for building more content.  This page is a customization of the InfoNote Bootstrap Template 0.20 template.  A version from Develop InfoNote Bootstrap Template 0.20 Material was used.

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