A Scenario-directed Computational Framework To Aid Decision-making And Systems Development
Hobbs, Reginald L. (Reginald Lionel)
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Scenarios are narratives that illustrate future possibilities or existing systems, and help policy makers and system designers choose among alternative courses of action. Scenario-based decision-making crosses many domains and multiple perspectives. Domain-specic techniques for encoding, simulating, and manipulating scenarios exist, however there is no general-purpose scenario representation capable of supporting the wide spectrum of formality from executable simulation programs to free-form text to streaming media descriptions. The claim of this research is that there is a computer readable scenario framework that can capture the semantics of a problem domain and make scenarios an active part of decision making. The challenge is to define a representation for scenarios that supports a wide range of discussion and comprehension activities while remaining independent of content and access mechanisms. This dissertation describes a scenario ontology derived by examining alternate forms of narrative: thought experiments, mental models, case-based reasoning, use cases, design patterns, screenwriting, film-editing, intelligent agents, and other narrative domains. The scenario conceptual model was based on an analysis of forms of narrative and the activities of storytelling. This method separates what a narrative is from how it is used. The research contribution is the development of the hyperscenario framework. A hyperscenario is a scenario representation containing link structures for navigation between scenario elements. The hyperscenario framework consists of the scenario ontology, scenario grammar, and a scenario specification called Scenario Markup Language (SCML). The results of the web-enabled simulation experiment validate the improvement on decision-making due to the hyperscenario framework.