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The pragmatic quality of Resources- Events-Agents diagrams: an experimental evaluation

Geert Poels (UGent) , Ann Maes (UGent) , Frederik Gailly (UGent) and Roland Paemeleire (UGent)
(2011) Information Systems Journal. 21(1). p.63-89
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Abstract
The Resources-Events-Agents (REA) model is a semantic data model for the development of enterprise information systems. Although this model has been proposed as a benchmark for enterprise information modelling, only few studies have attempted to empirically validate the claimed benefits of REA modelling. Moreover, these studies focused on the evaluation of REA-based system implementations rather than directly assessing the REA-modelled conceptual schemas that these systems are based on. This paper presents a laboratory experiment that measured the user understanding of diagrammatic conceptual schemas developed using the REA model. The theoretical foundation for the hypotheses are cognitive theories that explain pattern recognition phenomena and the resulting reduction in cognitive effort for understanding conceptual schemas. The results of the experiment indicate a more accurate understanding of the business processes and policies modelled when users recognize the REA model's core pattern of enterprise information in the diagram. The implication for modelling practice is that the use of the REA model improves the requirements engineering process by facilitating the user validation of conceptual schemas produced by analysts, and thus helps ensuring the quality of the enterprise information system that is developed or implemented.
Keywords
conceptual modelling, VALIDATION, modelling patterns, schema quality, user comprehension, REPRESENTATION, COMMUNICATION, FRAMEWORK, ACCOUNTING MODEL, INFORMATION-SYSTEMS, NONPARAMETRIC-TESTS, enterprise information systems

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Chicago
Poels, Geert, Ann Maes, Frederik Gailly, and Roland Paemeleire. 2011. “The Pragmatic Quality of Resources- Events-Agents Diagrams: An Experimental Evaluation.” Information Systems Journal 21 (1): 63–89.
APA
Poels, G., Maes, A., Gailly, F., & Paemeleire, R. (2011). The pragmatic quality of Resources- Events-Agents diagrams: an experimental evaluation. Information Systems Journal, 21(1), 63–89.
Vancouver
1.
Poels G, Maes A, Gailly F, Paemeleire R. The pragmatic quality of Resources- Events-Agents diagrams: an experimental evaluation. Information Systems Journal. 2011;21(1):63–89.
MLA
Poels, Geert, Ann Maes, Frederik Gailly, et al. “The Pragmatic Quality of Resources- Events-Agents Diagrams: An Experimental Evaluation.” Information Systems Journal 21.1 (2011): 63–89. Print.
@article{1095714,
  abstract     = {The Resources-Events-Agents (REA) model is a semantic data model for the development of enterprise information systems. Although this model has been proposed as a benchmark for enterprise information modelling, only few studies have attempted to empirically validate the claimed benefits of REA modelling. Moreover, these studies focused on the evaluation of REA-based system implementations rather than directly assessing the REA-modelled conceptual schemas that these systems are based on. This paper presents a laboratory experiment that measured the user understanding of diagrammatic conceptual schemas developed using the REA model. The theoretical foundation for the hypotheses are cognitive theories that explain pattern recognition phenomena and the resulting reduction in cognitive effort for understanding conceptual schemas. The results of the experiment indicate a more accurate understanding of the business processes and policies modelled when users recognize the REA model's core pattern of enterprise information in the diagram. The implication for modelling practice is that the use of the REA model improves the requirements engineering process by facilitating the user validation of conceptual schemas produced by analysts, and thus helps ensuring the quality of the enterprise information system that is developed or implemented.},
  author       = {Poels, Geert and Maes, Ann and Gailly, Frederik and Paemeleire, Roland},
  issn         = {1350-1917},
  journal      = {Information Systems Journal},
  keyword      = {conceptual modelling,VALIDATION,modelling patterns,schema quality,user comprehension,REPRESENTATION,COMMUNICATION,FRAMEWORK,ACCOUNTING MODEL,INFORMATION-SYSTEMS,NONPARAMETRIC-TESTS,enterprise information systems},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {63--89},
  title        = {The pragmatic quality of Resources- Events-Agents diagrams: an experimental evaluation},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2575.2007.00253.x},
  volume       = {21},
  year         = {2011},
}

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