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The information domain

All software applications can be collectively called data processing. Software is built to process data also processes the events. An event represents some aspect of system control and is really nothing more than Boolean data.

 

e.g. software controlled automobile engine.

(i.e. to control flow of fuel)

 

The information domain contains three views of the data and control as each is processed by a computer program. The views are as:

 

1.   Information Flow

2.   Information content and relationship

3.   Information structure

1)      Information Flow

information domain

 

The information flow represents the manner in which data and control change as each moves through a system.

 

The information applied to the data are function or sub-functions that a program must perform.

 

Data and control that move between two transformations (functions) define the interface for each function.

 

2)      Information Content and Relationship

 

Information content represents the individual data and control objects that comprise some larger collection of information that is transformed by the software.

 

e.g. The data object paycheck is a composite of a number of important pieces of data.

 

The content of paycheck is defined by the attributes that are needed to create it. Similarly, the content of a control object called system status, might be defined by a string of bits. Each bit represents a separate item of information that indicates whether or not a particular device is on or off-line.

 

Data and control objects can be related to other data and control objects.

e.g. The data object paycheck has one or more relationship with the objects timecard, employee, bank and others. During the analysis of the information domain, these relationships should be defined.

 

3)      Information Structure

 

Information on structure represents the internal organization of various data and control items.

 

A concept of data structure refers to the design and implementation of information structure.

 

Questions like,

  • Are data and control items to be organized as an n-dimensional tables OR Hierarchical tree structure?
  • Within the context of the structure, what information is related to other information?
  • Is all information contained within a single structure or are distinct structures to be used?
  • How does information structure relate to information in another structure?

 

Are answered by an assessment of information structure.

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