An investigation of the criteria for good decomposition: the Wand and Weber model applied to the functional decomposition approach

Donaldson, Jeannie. (1992). An investigation of the criteria for good decomposition: the Wand and Weber model applied to the functional decomposition approach Master's Thesis, Dept. of Commerce, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Donaldson, Jeannie.
Thesis Title An investigation of the criteria for good decomposition: the Wand and Weber model applied to the functional decomposition approach
School, Centre or Institute Dept. of Commerce
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1992
Thesis type Master's Thesis
Total pages 86
Language eng
Subjects 1402 Applied Economics
Formatted abstract This research examines the criteria for good decomposition of an information system. Specifically, the research questions addressed are (1) to what extent do the functional decomposition methodologies that use data flow diagrams (DFDs) to partition the system lead to "good decompositions," (2) to what extent can the Wand and Weber framework be applied to the functional decomposition approach to provide insights into the underlying framework of this approach, and (3) to what extent is the Wand and Weber model of decomposition adequate as a basis for assessing decomposition developed using the functional decomposition methodologies.

An investigation of structured methodologies that use the functional decomposition approach reveals these methodologies rely on heuristics and do not necessarily lead to a well-decomposed system.

A simple example is used to generate a range of possible functional decompositions. Applying the Wand and Weber definitions of system primitives to the example decompositions provides insights into the underlying principles of structured approaches. It appears these methodologies attempt to decompose the ordered set of states to which a system must respond to create the hierarchical structure of the partitioned model. The methodologies attempt. to minimize the states to which each subsystem must respond.

Applying the Wand al1d Weber criteria of good decomposition to the example decompositions reveals there is a difference in fundamental principles between the Wal1d and Weber model and the underlying theoretical framework of the functional approach. The functional approach attempts to minimize complexity by minimizing the states to which a subsystem responds. The Wand and Weber model does not contain this principle. This research has highlighted this difference but does not attempt to resolve it.


 
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