Topological Data Analysis

Originally written for the CognitionX site, also published on the illumr site. Computers are reasonably good at analyzing large datasets, but there is one class of problem where they require a bit of help from puny humans – high dimensional datasets. By “high-dimensional” we mean “wide”, as in lots of columns. When we have wide data, it’s very hard to spot commonalities across a number of those columns. For example, if we have data from a large number of sensors,

Continue Reading

Analysis of Information Assets

This is a white paper originally written in 2016 for a customer who was building asset tracking systems for information – i.e. tracking databases, documents, messages, backups, etc. There is something quite slippery about this kind of asset that makes it difficult to model. We decided to go back to first principles and work up from there. This (rather long) blog summarises what we found. This is not an easy topic, so not one for casual reading. Introduction Modelling information

Continue Reading

Monkeys at Typewriters Painting the Forth Bridge

This was originally published on the Integrated-EA Conference website in 2016 Lets imagine there was once a very big EA project that involved lots of people modelling lots of things, in lots of depth, with no particular goals in mind, and in an environment where the things they were modelling were constantly changing. Under these circumstances, you’ve got “Monkeys at typewriters, painting the Forth Bridge” – a term I once heard used to describe enterprise architecture. I think it aptly

Continue Reading

Object-Space and Name-Space

Some ontology background material first published in 2013 The purpose of a formal ontology is to provide a useful, and where possible, accurate model of the real world. Ontologies are made up of elements and relationships. Those elements and relationships are named. It is important to distinguish between the element and its name(s). In the example above we have a hierarchy of types and their names. The similarity between this and a taxonomy is clear, and from a simple example

Continue Reading

Enterprise Ontologies

This (long) blog was originally published as a chapter in the Springer Book – Intelligence-Based Systems Engineering When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp.

Continue Reading

Introduction to the BORO Method

Originally written in 2010 for UK Government paper. BORO stands for Business Object Reference Ontology. The purpose of the method is to re-engineer disparate data sources into a common model. It is particularly good at semantic analysis – establishing whether two concepts are the same, if they overlap, or if they are unrelated. Traditional methods of data analysis tend to be linguistic, comparing the names of the concepts rather than the things they describe[1]. Some modern methods have introduced a

Continue Reading

MODAF and Soft Systems

Originally written in 2008 for a Thales, BT and Fujitsu programme, this paper was co-authored with Prof Brian Wilson Introduction The Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) sets out to build a model of what a Human Activity System must do if it is to achieve the purposes defined. The purposes are intended to be relevant to a specific part of “The Real World”, which might range in size from a multi‐national enterprise, through an individual organisation to elements within an organisation.

Continue Reading

Simple Guide to Enterprise Architecture

This is a very old paper (from 2006) so please be kind. It’s also a bit long for a blog. I’ve only re-published because to this day I still get asked about this paper, and it’s also been cited in a number of other papers. The practice of enterprise architecture (EA) is about informing the business decision making process by understanding how complex organisations are structured, how they function, and what technology supports those functions. It would be wrong to

Continue Reading

Enterprise Architecture Maturity Dashboard

Another really old paper (2006) but one that I still get asked about. I wrote this whilst under contract to Cornwell Management Consulting (later became Serco Consulting) for one of their clients who wanted to use the Zachman Framework, but didn’t know where to start. Looking back on this now (2019) it all looks rather naïve. What is Enterprise Architecture ? Organisations develop an enterprise architecture (EA) to inform the decision making process. By understanding how complex organisations are structured,

Continue Reading

Site Footer

Sliding Sidebar

Close Bitnami banner