Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Money does NOT create happiness

In Southbeach Notation 0.9 every effect can be tagged 'NOT'. In addition, effects can be 'potential' (signified in the same way as potential agents using a dotted line).

In this model, money (useful) does NOT create happiness, but money sure has the potential (dotted line) to increase happiness. The ? on the line signifies 'questionable'. That is, the assertion would be disputed by some. Questionable effecs are another new feature in 0.9.

Using NOT is not the same as the counter effect. For example, NOT creating happiness is not the same as destroying happiness.

In Southbeach, effects often form pairs of counter effects, for example:

Contributes To/Detracts From

It is important to understand the difference between these pairs of opposites and NOT. For example, the counter effect to 'Prevents', is not 'Allows'. 'NOT Prevents' is 'Allows'. So what is the counter effect to 'Prevents?' We'll leave you with this exercise.

The introduction of NOT in Southbeach 0.9 allows models to express deficiency and requirements in new ways. This is important in business problem solving, since the absense of something (i.e. NOT), itself may represent a problem, or an opportunity.

Avoiding Issues and Choices

This small model illustrates some of new the features (semantics) in the forthcoming 0.9 release of Southbeach Notation. The lozenge shape we call an 'issue' - sometimes called a 'question'. Effects into an issue drive its resolution. Effects out of an issue only occur once the issue has been resolved. In this model, a business problem is creating the need to resolve an issue. However, lots of reasons are being found/invented to counteract the issue. Which of these two forces win decides whether the business moves beyond the issue to take the decision it needs to take.

The diamond shape represents a 'choice' or 'decision'. Effects into the diamond drive the decision to be taken. The effects out of the diamond are mutually exclusive (unless they are marked as 'inevitable').

Using 'issue' and 'choices', a wide range of new situations can be represented in Southbeach.

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