Towards the Reconstruction and Evaluation of Conceptual Model Quality Discourses - Methodical Framework and Application in the Context of Model Understandability

Peter Fettke; Constantin Houy; Armella-Lucia Vella; Peter Loos
In: Ilia Bider; Terry Halpin; John Krogstie; Selmin Nurcan; Erik Proper; Rainer Schmidt; Pnina Soffer; Stanislaw Wrycza (Hrsg.). BPMDS 2012 and EMMSAD 2012. International Conference on Exploring Modelling Methods for Systems Analysis and Design (EMMSAD-12), located at CAiSE 2012, June 25-26, Gdansk, Poland, Pages 406-421, Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing (LNBIP), Vol. 113, Springer, Berlin, 6/2012.


Within the information systems (IS) discipline conceptual models have gained tremendous importance in the past years. Different approaches for systematic model quality evaluation have emerged. However, these approaches are based on different understandings, definitions as well as operationalizations of the term model quality. In this article we refrain from conceptualizing and operationalizing model quality a priori. In contrast, assuming that the determination of model quality and appropriate criteria are negotiated in a discourse between modelers and model users based on their different perspectives, we develop a methodical framework for the critical reconstruction and evaluation of conceptual model quality discourses in order to identify relevant conceptual model quality criteria and understandings. Our method is applied in a case study in which the discourse on the model quality criterion understandability is reconstructed based on relevant laboratory experiments. The case study shows that many research results on model understandability are hardly comparable due to their different basic assumptions and should preferably be interpreted based on a methodical reconstruction of underlying understandings.



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