5.2.1 From Fuzzy to Formal (F3)
F3 is a comprehensive framework for improving requirements acquisition
and transformation into valid information systems specifications. The name
"From Fuzzy to Formal" refers to the process of transforming potentially
inconsistent and unclear (fuzzy) requirements into formal requirements
appropriate for implementation of a computerized information system.
The main purpose of enterprise modeling in F3 is as a technique
for developing understanding and for documentation of business aspects
early in the requirements engineering phase in a more formal way than using
natural language descriptions (Bubenko, 1993:78). Even if the original
purpose of F3 enterprise modeling was as a basis for information
systems development, the approach is claimed to be of more general applicability
(Bubenko and Kirikova, 1994).
Figure 5.1: Interrelated submodels in F3 enterprise
modeling (from Kirikova and Bubenko, 1994a)
Enterprise models in the F3 approach consist of five submodels,
see figure 5.1. The presentation here is based on (Kirikova and Bubenko,
The submodels are interlinked with relationships belonging to the overall
enterprise model. Enterprise modeling is considered a domain-independent
technique, i.e., there are no preferences concerning which type of work
that can be modeled. The enterprise modeling process is presented as unstructured
and highly iterative. Within the framework, both an overall method and
numerous guidelines, driving questions and rules of thumb are provided
for practical accomplishment of enterprise modeling (Kirikova and Bubenko,
The Objectives Model (OM)
Addresses the why-aspects of the enterprise, providing rationales
for various requirements. Elements include goals, problems,
opportunities, causes, rules and development actions.
The Concepts Model (CM)
Defines the ontology of the Universe of Discourse, in terms of concepts,
attributes and grouping. Various relationships are also defined,
including specialization and aggregation. The concepts model integrates
all the other models, and all concepts used in the ISRM (see below) are
defined in the CM.
The Actors Model (AM)
Actors and resources in the enterprise are defined in terms of individuals,
non-human resources, organizational units and roles.
The Activities and Usage Model (AUM)
The AUM defines what is done in the organization in terms of process,
information, material and external processes. Predefined
relationships are input and output.
The IS Requirements Model (ISRM)
ISRM describes both functional and non-functional requirements to the
information system, and focuses more directly on the IS that is to be developed.
"The process of Enterprise Modelling does not follow some prescribed
sequence of activities. However, guide-lines exist for different modelling
Figure 5.2 provides an overview of the modeling process. Before entering
the enterprise modeling context, there are a number of preconditions
that must be satisfied, generally related to organization and project management.
Once the EM context is entered, modeling is seen as consisting of modeling
actions and management actions, depending on particular situations
that the project team may encounter. Other modeling contexts are also entered
in an iterative manner.
Figure 5.2: An outline of the F3 Enterprise Modelling
process and its contexts
Guidelines for what to do in each context are provided in terms
of structured if-then rules that first describe a certain situation that
the modelers may be in and perceive as problematic, and then suggest a
series of actions to help solve or escape the given situation. Driving
questions are also posed depending on context. The F3 reference
manual (F3, 1994) provides more details on the modeling process.
When in the Objectives Modeling context, some driving questions that
may be used include (F3, 1994:153)
The worldview underlying the approach is not explicitly stated, but there
is evidence of both constructivistic and objectivistic character. The focus
on modeling process as a group activity is an indication of a constructivist
view, and they recognize that
What is the long range objective of this part of the enterprise?
How can this goal be achieved?
Who will be responsible for this goal?
"the things that are being modelled are issues which often
are neither right nor wrong. They are people's perceptions of some reality."
On the other hand, they have developed an extensive and detailed language
for the modelers to use. In this way, they predefine the users language,
assuming it to be appropriate in every situation. Predefining a language
implies restriction of the reality construction process. Still, the approach
is assessed as constructivistic, also based on the deliberations made by
Bubenko (1993) concerning how requirements capture actually is requirements