Applying a foundational ontology to analyze means-end links in the i* framework
Document typeConference report
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Rights accessOpen Access
The i* community has raised several main dialects and dozens of variations in the definition of the i* language. Differences may be found related not just to the representation of new concepts but to the very core of the i* language. If on the one hand this is caused by large adoption of the framework in the academic setting, on the other hand, it also poses some threats. For example, novices have trouble learning how to use the language, and besides these inconsistencies prevent i* from being largely adopted in business settings. Based on positive results from previous work related to conceptual modeling languages, we believe that foundational ontologies may present a promising solution for this problem. Foundational ontologies may help clarifying the semantics of core i* constructs and provide practical guidelines for their use. Last, they may serve as the basis to propose a normative definition of the framework. In this paper, we develop this idea, first by justifying the use of foundational ontologies and, in particular, the UFO ontology. Then, we raise some problems found in the i* literature. And then, we show the outcomes of adopting an ontological approach for the specific case of the i* framework. We focus here on one of the most characteristic i* construct, namely the means-end link.
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CitationGuizzardi, R.; Franch, X.; Guizzardi, G. Applying a foundational ontology to analyze means-end links in the i* framework. A: International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science. "Sixth International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science: RCIS 2012: May 16-18 2012, Valencia, Spain: conference proceedings". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2012, p. 1-11.