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Tuesday, July 11 • 14:00 - 14:30
3152 A Public Database for Systems Processes Theory and Systems Pathology (DB-SP2T)

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Systems Processes Theory (SPT) teams, following 40 years of collection by its originator Dr. Len Troncale, are continuing to collect numerous case studies, scientific research articles, books, references, definitions and other related material on phenomena across the major domains of science (astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, biology, mathematics, computer science, human & social systems). Some 55 Isomorphic Systems Processes or Patterns (ISPs) as GST components organize these collections because the peer-reviewed scientific method gives evidence for their underlying commonality, similarity or universality despite specific differences in scale, discipline, or type of system involved. For example, SPT has a collection for the cycles ISP of about 100 case studies of cycling features/functions from the literature of the above 9 disciplines. Same for hierarchies, or networks. The "Origins patterns" has over 1,000 research articles collected as one ISP. Plans are to collect items for 30 Categories of Information (InfoCategories) for each and every ISP. Access to this valuable, transdisciplinary, general systems oriented body of knowledge is currently very limited. Several wish to secure this huge knowledge base in perpetuity for use by a wider range of systems scientists, systems thinkers, sustainability experts, systems engineers, design & management specialists, etc.

The authors are working with Dr. Troncale to develop a publicly accessible database of the information. This development would make the work of the many usable by anyone. This presentation and paper describes initial planning. We recognize two major parts of this project: 1) the database schema & software, and 2) the human interface to the data. The development of the schema is complicated by the wide diversity of material in the collection. Metadata surrounding each item lacks uniformity. For example, the bibliographic citations exist in a multitude of formats (ALA, Chicago, Dewey Decimal, IEEE reference numbers, URL, LOC, Marc 25 and so on.) The first step in developing the schema is collecting, rationalizing and building a common citation construct with enough flexibility to adjust to future requirements without introducing redundancy. The development of the interface must anticipate the questions a user might ask. Since the users of the database will range from experienced science researchers to students to engineers to curators and more - most likely there will be multiple access modes needed.

This paper and presentation also discusses the progress so far and outlines the next steps for other key design challenges such as: (1) enabling crowd sourcing and collaboratories; (2) identifying meaningful relationships among seemingly unrelated data elements; and (3) providing structured and unstructured information access for diverse users. The earliest paper (1978) in the SPT series described the ideal of a virtual network graphic of great complexity that would be instantaneously updated with any new entry to the DB-SP2T, and enable real-time travel thru the graphic by the user for choice of any specific part of the net graphic. Organization of the net would be with ISPs as nodes and Linkage Propositions (LPs) between nodes. The incredible detail in the DB-SP2T is evidenced by considering a matrix of ISPs by ISPs that records the number of current LPs with over 3000 interstices, each containing critical information. Or by considering a matrix of ISPs by InfoCategories, where just one of the 3,300 interstices usually has a dozen items of information, resulting in a matrix possibly totaling nearly 40,000 entries. Examples of such matrices will be presented and their inclusion in the DB-SP2T critiqued.

Tuesday July 11, 2017 14:00 - 14:30 CEST

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