Thursday, March 13, 2008

Context Mapping

What if in the same organization a word such as, let’s say “SOA,” meant one thing to the majorityof stakeholders (our best criteria ought to be some sort of official or community endorsement) on May 20th, 2006and then meant something slightly different on November 11th, 2006 and then something completely different on July 10th, 2007? Which meaning is valid? In most cases, we’d simply go with the latest version of the meaning. But life is never that simple is it? It just so happens that we’ve been given the charter to integrate with four other organizations who all have various interpretations of the same word that all have evolved over time. How can we reconcile this; or even study it?

Now you begin to see the value of Context and Dynamic Context. Without the ability to view the variations andtheir respective evolutionary paths it will be difficult for us to determine an appropriate, Integrated reconciliation for that term – one that will be accepted by all the constituents of all groups (or most of them anyway). Context Mapping is the ability to visualize the evolution or comparison of Vocabulary terms, Taxonomies, Ontologies or Sets within or across constituent perspectives, i.e. Contexts. Once a reconciliation has been chosen it can be used to generate a Dynamic Set or Sets. Of course, part of the reconciliation process for Context Mapping could include generating “What If” Dynamic Sets to see how these would perform against Semantic Rules and Formal Sets. This process would be used to determine what types of logic and data will be used to integrate organizations across domains, it will determine the structure of all systems or systems involved as well as the processes which link them.

Put another way, Context Mapping represents one of two core analytical processes involving Contexts; Mapping supports the reconciliation of both Context and Dynamic Contexts into “Integrated Contexts.” Integrated Contexts are the building blocks for Dynamic Sets and Semantic Rules.

Copyright 2008, Semantech Inc.

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