An Information Roundabout is an infrastructural facility that is meant to significantly improve human interoperability. As such it requires a systematic organisation of information. And a systematic organisation of information, in turn, requires a method for systematic information modeling.

Currently I know only one method that is able to model information in a radical systematic way: metapattern – a surprisingly elegant as well as powerful method for systematic information modeling. As a method metapattern comes with a strong philosophy: Subjective Situationism [1]. Metapattern is supported with a tool-set/operational platform, called Knitbits.

Metapattern is developed by Pieter Wisse, founder and president of Information Dynamics. The method is documented comprehensively in his book: Metapattern: Context and Time in Information Models (Addison-Wesley, 2001). The book “provides a formal treatment of context and offers a host of practical modeling examples” [2]; further detailed/explained on his website: Publications on metapattern.

As said before: metapattern is a method for systematic information modeling. Metapattern consistently supports coherent modeling of information in multiple contexts simultaneously. Systematic information modeling keeps information contextually separate and yet meaningfully together. And precisely that is required for an Information Roundabout to be successful! Various as well as varying participants in modern information traffic simultaneously need situationally relevant information of clear meaning at their individual fingertips – only 100% of the time.

Traditional methods for information modeling can be, one by one, characterized as mono-contextual: they are capable of helping solve one problem in one situation for one individual or group at a time. Mono-contextual methods [3] are therefore not fit for use at an infrastructural facility like an Information Roundabout. An Information Roundabout needs to be able to accurately handle information in multiple contexts for multiple participants in information traffic simultaneously – regardless of the current/emerging problem. Metapattern successfully completes the required systematic information modeling job!

November 2011, Copyright (c) 2011 – Jan van Til/Information Roundabout

1. Extensively explained in Wisse’s dissertation Semiosis & Sign Exchange – Design for a Subjective Situationism, including Conceptual Grounds of Business Information Modeling (Information Dynamics, 2002).
2. A quote from Wisse’s website on Metapattern.
3. Even modern Object Oriented modeling methods fall short: they characterize as mono-contextual. See Object Orientation’s Credentials.

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