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Article
Is Use of Optional Attributes and Associations in Conceptual Modeling Always Problematic? Theory and Empirical Tests
ICIS 2012 Proceedings
  • Andrew Burton-Jones, School of Business, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. && Sauder School of Business, UBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Roger Clarke, Department of Philosophy, UBC, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Kate Lazarenko, Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
  • Ron Weber, Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Start Date
14-12-2012 12:00 AM
Description
Prior research has argued that use of optional properties in conceptual models results in loss of information about the semantics of the domains represented by the models. Empirical research undertaken to date supports this argument. Nevertheless, no systematic analysis has been done of whether use of optional properties is always problematic. Furthermore, prior empirical research might have deliberately or unwittingly employed models where use of optionality always causes problems. Accordingly, we examine analytically whether use of optional properties is always problematic. We employ our analytical results to inform the design of an experiment where we systematically examined the impact of optionality on users’ ability to understand domains represented by different types of conceptual models. We found evidence that use of optionality undermines users’ ability to understand the domain represented by a model but that this effect weakens when use of mandatory properties to replace optional properties leads to more-complex models.
Citation Information
Andrew Burton-Jones, Roger Clarke, Kate Lazarenko and Ron Weber. "Is Use of Optional Attributes and Associations in Conceptual Modeling Always Problematic? Theory and Empirical Tests" (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ron_weber/41/