[Crm-sig] Modelling an Actor carrying out an action at the Behest of Another

George Bruseker george.bruseker at gmail.com
Tue Apr 14 18:47:35 EEST 2020


Dear all,

Here is a minor modelling issue which may or may not find your interest in
these times of quarantine. The modelling conundrum is the following:

Sometimes in an activity, the activity is carried out by a named individual
but it is carried out on the behest of an organization or someone acts in
their capacity as the representative of an organization.

Examples:

The Conceptual Modelling (E7) is carried out by George Bruseker (E21) as
representative of Takin.Solutions (E74)

The Diplomatic Reception (E7) is carried out by Ms. Diplomat (E21) as
representative of the Canadian Government

Ie: we want to say that at this time (when E7 occurred) this actor (E21)
did the action (p14) but also to qualify this participation not through a
role but to say that this person was not acting as an individual but at the
time was employed by, working for, acting on the behest of some other
entity E74.

One the one hand you could say, just document that the actor was a member
of some group through a join and leave event and then you could calculate
that they were a member of that group at the time of the event. I think
this doesn't work because a) it is obtuse and b) it cannot be inferred that
because I am a member of some group at some time that the actions I take in
that time span are then me acting on behalf of that group. Obviously, I
guess.

So next potential solution. I think that p14.1 in the role of, won't cut
it, because that would only point to a role 'diplomat' 'conceptual
modeller' whatever. This does not create the relation to the instance of
E39 actor which the E21 acts on behalf of/under the auspices of.

You can't just say that the E21 p107i is current or former member of E74
because a) acting on behalf of someone else doesn't necessarily imply
membership in a group together and b) this will not say that the person _at
that time_ was acting on behalf of / in relation to the other Actor anyway
(see above).

A classic solution might be to create a one person E74 group called
'representative of x organization on this night' and then put the person in
that group and then have the group carry out the action. While logically it
sounds like a solution (and doesn't call for new additions to the model)
but it would be counterintuitive to a user, creating entities that the user
wouldn't imagine to think of or use.

Another option would be to do event partioning and then say that the person
participated in a sub activity in which they were 'representing' x. I also
think this creates a lot. of complication and is not self explanatory as a
modelling solution (half the time you should look for actors carrying out
the activity under p14 and half the time under a sub event of E7 with a
special type).

So I don't find any of my imagined solutions very satisfactory. What do
other people think? Does anyone have a solution that I haven't thought of
with existing CRM mechanics? If there isn't a pre-existing solution, do you
ideas on how to cover this scenario?

I encounter it relatively frequently.

One solution I could imagine would be a new .1 type property off the PC14
class that would be something like 'as representative of'. I am not wedded
to such a solution, but I suggest it because I think it might link to a
more general issue that it is difficult to express 'manner' in a
grammatical sense with CRM and somehow the .1 properties aid with this
important kind of construct.

Anyhow just food for thought.

Best,

George
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