We describe a study of the industrial use of animation in the analysis of a formal model of information flow in dynamic virtual organisations (VOs). A generic formal model of a VO structure composed of autonomous agents sharing information was developed using the Vienna Development Method (VDM). An exploratory environment was also developed in which the model was animated via an interpreter running an application-specific script developed with domain experts. A user interface encouraged interaction with the model without requiring exposure to the formalism. The use of the interface and model by domain experts was observed and recorded before debrief, allowing us to draw conclusions about the suitability of formal models for exploring, in an industrial setting, the design of policies governing VOs.
Author and article information
J. S. Fitzgerald
School of Computing Science, Newcastle University, UK