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Generalized Framework Theory 1


August 14, 2002


This URL page is the first page of a series of pages that we will develop on a new theory of structural constraint imposed on formative processes.   Various forms are conjectured to exist as part of emergence classes, and in each case (perhaps), each class of emergence types has a periodic table – like in many ways to the atomic period table.  This is conjectured by a number of independent groups, including the Zachman Institute for Framework Advancement and others.  The BCNGroup scientists are discussing the general constraints on “framework theory”. 


The BCNGroup work is formal, and will be difficult to understand without background.  However, the Founding Committee is most anxious that the concepts actually be clear in exposition from first principles.


We start from with the Zachman framework. 


Quoting Inmon, Zachman, and Geiger (Data Stores Data Warehousing and the Zachman Framework, 1997)  page 48:


“By applying methodologies linked to architectures such as the Zachman framework, businesses can gain the necessary control over the distributed computer environment, while taking advantage of the technological capabilities for quickly providing business functionality.”


And then on page 52:


“According to Alvin Toffler, knowledge will become the central resource of the advanced economy, and because it reduces the need for other resources, its value will soar.  (Alvin Toffler, Power Shift, 1990).  Data warehousing concepts, supported by the technological advances which led to the client/.server environment and by architectural constructs such as the Zackman Framework, can prepare organizations to tap their inner banks of knowledge to improve their competitive positions in the twenty-first-century.


Before we critically examine this viewpoint, let us look briefly at the Zachman framework itself.  One should study the framework as presented by the Zachman Institute as the Institute is the authority on what the Zachman Framework is.  The conjecture is, both by the BCNGroup and the Zachman Institute, that the Zachman Framework is a universal in a specific context. 


Zachman takes two dimensions of Descriptive Enumeration (DE).  See PowerPoint side 6 on “DE”.  The first dimension is perspectives and the second dimension is interrogatives.


Perspectives are:  { planner, owner, designer, builder, subcontractor }


Interrogatives are: { what, how, where, who, when, why }


The matrix is formed using a cross product of these two dimensions.  One way of looking at the cross product is as a matrix.  In this case we have a 5*6 matrix, with 5 columns and 6 rows.  The cells of the matrix are indicative of a role and a question. 


So < planner, what > is the (1,1) “element.”



One can turn this element into a question: “What is the planner?”. As various situations arise the answer to the question varies.  But over a large number of situations one will begin to enumerate a set of answers.  Another name for the cell is “slot” and the set of answers are called a set of “fillers”.



Figure 1:  The most abstract form of the Zachman Framework


The idea is that in a specific situation one can provide a description of the situation by filling in each of the cells of the framework.   Some might see the relationship between this notion and the Schank notion of a script with slots and fillers.  The script is one of these matrices and the slots are the cells.  The fillers are the type of things that are placed into the slots in specific classes of situations.


In the language of categoricalAbstraction (cA) and eventChemistry (eC) we have that the fillers are potential atoms of event compounds, slots serve to provide the binding of atoms into the event compound and the script (of framework) is in fact the relationship.


So an Zachman Framework (ZF) can be expressed in the form of a 30 tuple: < situation, (1,1), (1,2), . . . , (5,5), (5,6) >.  With situation being a zero-th element of the n-tuple.   The cells are atoms and the situation is the link relationship.  But we will see that perhaps the ZF is a universal for one class of complex processes, but that other frameworks exist such as a




Both of these are used for knowledge bases construction.   More will be discussed on these other frameworks in later beads. 


One way of obtaining a categorical invariance is to use the same framework over and over again in various situations, and note the commonalities of occurrence in regard to the fillers.  For example, suppose that each “crisis” in a crisis management organization like FEMA would convene a virtual meeting in a lotus notes quick place.  Suppose that the first order of business was to fill out the cells of the framework in Figure 1.  Over time (and being careful NOT to let the participants know that the contents of the slots where being studied) one will see a classification pattern where partial information will identify a potential filling out of the slots.  One might also begin to also see a predictor of how the organization ends up responding to categories of situations as designated by a partial substructural specification.  The “system” is then anticipatory and automated process can begin to stage responses so that if and when humans decide to act the staging will be in place. 


Because the intelligence of the system is strongly dependent on


1)      The way that humans fill out information into the frameworks, and

2)      The way that human interpret the information once this information is in the framework


then the intelligence vetting provided by this set up is exceedingly simply computer science, and exceeding simply to train a community of practice to use. 


For a clear presentation of the original definition, by Prueitt, of Descriptive Enumeration (DE) as a technique, please see the URL. 



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