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Abstract

Information modeling (IM) is the process of identifying information needs and models based onuser requirements and systems analysts’ perceptions during systems analysis and design. WhenIM is done correctly, it facilitates communication between the analysts and end-users about thefinal software product. In addition, successful IM provides a formal basis for both the analystsand the end-users about the tools and techniques that will be used in software development(SD), which, in turn, reduces costly overruns in time and money during systemsimplementation. Method engineering (ME) is the process of designing, constructing, andadapting information modeling methods for information systems development. As Siau (2003)and Kavakli (2005) point out that, while there has been a steady increase in IM and ME research(e.g. Kawalek & Wastell 2003, Kavakli 2005, Matulevicius 2005), most of the models reportedin recent literature are still primarily based on common sense approach, and, as a result, lack aslid theoretical foundation.This paper discusses the feasibility of combining design patterns (DPs), analysis patterns (APs) andcase-based reasoning (CBR) to improve information modeling and method engineering. Recentresearch in DP, AP, and CBR has proven that all those methods are effective in softwaredevelopment. In this paper, we propose a model that combines DP, AP and CBR as a tool toimprove IM and ME. We believe that the use of DP and AP, along with CBR will facilitate easiercommunication among systems analysts, end-users and software engineers thus improve on heefficiency in software development. In the paper, we also provide illustrative examples fromaccounting systems design to show the effectiveness of our proposed model. Finally, we provideevidence in this paper that the practical application of DPs, APs and CBR to systems developmentmakes it possible to identify and resolve critical issues and risks at earlier stages in IM and ME, andeventually lead to high quality end product.

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