What is CogNIAM?

CogNIAM stands for Cognition enhanced NIAM and NIAM stands for Natural language Information Analysis Method.

CogNIAM is an extension of NIAM (the first truely business oriented fact based modeling methodology) employing an extensive protocol guiding the communication between the conceptual modeler and the subject matter expert or business expert.

The first aim of NIAM and CogNIAM has always been to be a service to practical businesses. 

An extensive paper describing early NIAM was published in 1978; it is not quoted by some conceptual modeling authors or websites although it is easy to conclude that it has been the basis for ISO TR9007 and later conceptual methodologies. See to view or download the 144 page paper 1978 A Framework for Discussion-in-ISO-1978-TR9007-landscape.pdf

Which are the USP's of CogNIAM?

CogNIAM is today, 2011,

a. the fastest,

b. the cheapest and

c. the highest quality yielding

fully integrated business modeling methodology, primarily aimed as a service to business and the most widely used integrated business modeling methodology in business practice, where (business) process, information, rules, communication and semantics are fully integrated.

When to use CogNIAM?

The CogNIAM methodology is used in business when the results have to be obtained in the fastest way, when at the same time having minimum costs and top quality are required. The justification of this statement will be given in a technical explanation and will be available at this website.

CogNIAM uses the most extensive validation protocol involving the subject matter or business expert, and communicating in his preferred language and extensively using everyday practical business situations. CogNIAM results in an integrated business model that

1. is complete,

2. is consistent,

3. is unambiguous,

4. does not contain any uncontrolled redundancy

5 where process, information, rules, communication and semantics are fully integrated. 


What is the history of CogNIAM?

Verbalization and reconstruction: 1959

Verbalizing concrete examples, expressed in diagrams or other format, into textual sentences and converting textual sentences into a diagrammatic or other format was the beginning of NIAM. This start of NIAM took place in 1959 at the Dutch Air Force where the processes of verbalization of concrete examples and reconstructing diagrams from the textual representation were essential parts of a "human" low level radar as introduced in the UK during WWII.

Please distinguish verbalization of rules and verbalization of concrete examples as this is a source of confusion. Verbalization of concrete examples and reconstructing them is a unique feature of NIAM and CogNIAM. Verbalization of rules is a part of several other methodologies and is also part of CogNIAM.

Verbalization and reconstruction extended with generalization into fact types: the 1970s

The processes of verbalization and reconstruction work at the level at which more than 99.9% of business communication takes place, namely the level at which concrete sentences or facts are exchanged. Examples are: Customer 1002 orders 6 products with code A26B on October 10, 2011; the price of product A26B in October 2011 is 99 euro.

In business there is a need to define a business model at the next level of abstraction, and that is not at the level of fact instance but at the fact type level. The fact types corresponding with the fact instances given above are:

1: Customer <Customer-Nr> orders <Number> products with code <Product-Code> on <Date>.

2: The price of product <Product-Code> in <Month> < Year> is <Amount> euro.

Populatable fact type (type/instance) diagram 1977

When using fact types as part of a business model and when validation and productivity is important, then there is a need for a productive diagrammatic representation. The NIAM diagrammatic representation was born.

The first official publication in English was in the invited paper at the IFIP 1977 Congress in Toronto, "On the Gross Architecture for the Next Generation Database Management Systems", Information Processing 77, B. Gilchrist, editor, North-Holland Publishing Company (1977).

To be continued.