In the last two years, The Information Governance Community has explored how System Dynamics methodologies could be used to model complex organizational environments and simulate the impact of Data Governance Policy. We learned about ecosystems, stocks, flows, differential equations, and online simulations. Models were built and many new skills developed. We ran workshops at the IBM Information on Demand Conference, Community Meetings, Webinars, and we hosted an IBM Policy Simulation Symposium at IBM’s eGovernment Institute in Washington, DC last December.
One thing we all learned was that while System Dynamics is an important way of thinking and describing the world, its practice is more art than science. Models developed by one person can not easily be understood or re-used by another. Few models can be taken apart, modularized, and stored in component libraries for re-use. Without these attributes the thousands of models created by consultants, business professionals, and academics the world over contain value that can’t be easily communicated. Open standards are needed to build common methods that describe how models are built, how they work, and how they can be re-used.
Today, we are taking an important first step forward with the submission of a Charter to Oasis, for the formation of a working group to review and standardize the XMILE specification. This spec has been created by iSeeSystems, a Community Member, and IBM is supporting this working group. The first XMILE Technical Committee meeting will be held at the System Dynamics Conference in Boston in July.
We invite Community members, and other interested parties, to review the charter, to join the working group, and to help support the important work of advancing System Dynamics with Open Standards. To learn more about System Dynamics and Governance Policy Simulations, I enclose several links to past blog articles:
To OASIS Members:
A draft TC charter has been submitted to establish the OASIS XML Interchange Language (XMILE) for System Dynamics Technical Committee. In accordance with the OASIS TC Process Policy section 2.2: (https://www.oasis-open.org/policies-guidelines/tc-process#formation) the proposed charter is hereby submitted for comment. The comment period shall remain open until 6 June 2013 at 23:59 GMT.
OASIS maintains a mailing list for the purpose of submitting comments on proposed charters. Any OASIS member may post to this list by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. All messages will be publicly archived at: http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/oasis-charter-discuss/. Members who wish to receive emails must join the group by selecting “join group” on the group home page: http://www.oasis-open.org/apps/org/workgroup/oasis-charter-discuss/. Employees of organizational members do not require primary representative approval to subscribe to the oasis-charter-discuss e-mail.
A telephone conference will be held among the Convener, the OASIS TC Administrator, and those proposers who wish to attend within four days of the close of the comment period. The announcement and call-in information will be noted on the OASIS Charter Discuss Group Calendar.
We encourage member comment and ask that you note the name of the proposed TC (XMILE) in the subject line of your email message.
(1) Charter for OASIS XML Interchange Language (XMILE) for System Dynamics Technical Committee
(1) (a) Name of the TC
OASIS XML Interchange Language (XMILE) for System Dynamics Technical Committee
(1) (b) Statement of Purpose
The purpose of the XML Interchange Language (XMILE) for System Dynamics (SD) Technical Committee (TC) is to define an open XML protocol for the sharing, interoperability, and reuse of SD models and simulations. System Dynamics is an interactive environment for simulating the impact of policy on complex ecosystems. The benefits of this standard are:
- SD models can be re-used with Big Data sets to show how different policies produce different outcomes in complex environments.
- Models can be stored in cloud-based libraries, shared within and between organizations, and used to communicate different outcomes with common vocabulary.
- Model components can be re-used and plugged into other simulations.
- It will allow the creation of online repositories modeling many common business decisions.
- It will increase acceptance and use of System Dynamics as a discipline
- It will help ISVs make new tools that help businesses to develop and understand models and simulations.
- It will enable vendors to develop standards-based applications for new markets such as mobile and social media.
(1) (c) Scope of Work
The TC will accept as input the following SMILE and XMILE specifications published on 2 April 2013:
SMILE is a descriptive language based on Dynamo that allows people to create System Dynamic models and components. XMILE is a specification that encodes SMILE in XML.
Features of SMILE include:
- A language for simulation of SD models
- A core feature set for representing stock-flow diagrams of SD models
Features of XMILE include:
- A representation for simulation of SD models, in accordance with SMILE, including macro capabilities to both describe and implement vendor-unique language features (level 1)
- A representation of the stock-flow diagrams of SD models, in accordance with SMILE (level 2)
- A representation (level 3) of:
- Output devices for displaying data, such as graphs and tables,
- Input devices to allow the building of management flight simulators, and
- Model and flight simulator annotations such as text boxes and pictures
The TC will refine these initial contributions to produce OASIS Standard versions of the SMILE and XMILE specifications, including necessary supporting documentation.
The scope of the TC’s work is limited to technical refinements to the features defined in the input contributions. Modest extensions to the SMILE language that substantively increase the interoperability of SD models between vendors, together with their renderings in XMILE, will also be considered. However, the TC’s main focus is to refine the functionality presented in the input documents.
Out of scope: Any work not reasonably covered by the Scope of Work is deemed to be out of scope. Renderings of SMILE that do not use XML are deemed to be out of scope.
SMILE and XMILE contributions to this TC which are out of scope for this charter may be accumulated and taken into consideration for possible inclusion in future subsequent version of the standard.
(1) (d) Deliverables
The TC will produce OASIS Standard versions of both the SMILE and XMILE specifications within 12 to 16 months of the first meeting. The TC may optionally deliver white papers, orientation materials, tutorials, and such other non-normative content as may be useful to the community.
Once the TC has successfully produced the deliverables, the TC will enter into a maintenance mode. The purpose of the maintenance mode is to provide minor revisions to previously adopted deliverables, to clarify ambiguities, inconsistencies, and obvious errors. The maintenance mode will not functionally enhance a previously adopted deliverable, or extend its functionality.
(1) (e) IPR Mode
The committee will operate under the Non-Assertion IPR mode as defined in the OASIS Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Policy effective 21 June 2012.
(1) (f) Anticipated Audience
The anticipated audience for this work includes:
- Vendors of SD software, Big Data, cloud, mobile, and social media solutions.
- End users of and of the above who implement solutions that require interoperability between SD models and other systems.
- Consultants, educators, and interested parties.
(1) (g) Language
The TC will conduct its business in English. The output documents will be written in (US) English.
(2) Non-normative information regarding the startup of the TC
(2) (a) Similar or Applicable Work
XMILE is the XML representation of system dynamics models, as defined in the SMILE language. As such, it has some overlap with the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML). XMILE, however, is specifically tailored to System Dynamics models which are not explicitly represented in SBML.
(2) (b) Date, Time, and Location of First Meeting
The first meeting of the XMILE TC will be a face-to-face meeting to be held at the International System Dynamics Conference, July 24, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
(2) (c) On-Going Meeting Plans & Sponsors
It is anticipated that the XMILE TC will meet by teleconference every other week for an hour at a time determined by the TC members during the first TC meeting. It is anticipated that the XMILE TC will meet face-to-face every 3 months at a time and location to be determined by the TC members. The actual pace of face-to-face and teleconference meetings will be determined by TC members. Meetings will be hosted by member companies on a rotating basis.
(2) (d) Proposers of the TC
Karim Chichakly, email@example.com, isee systems, inc.
Joanne Egner, firstname.lastname@example.org, isee systems, inc.
Steve Adler, email@example.com, IBM
Brenda Dietrich, firstname.lastname@example.org, IBM
Eleni Pratsini, email@example.com, IBM
(2) (e) Statements of Support
Joanne Egner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Director, isee systems, inc.
As isee systems’ primary OASIS representative, I approve the OASIS XML Interchange Language (XMILE) for System Dynamics TC Charter and endorse our proposers (listed above) as named co-proposers.
David Ing, email@example.com
Manager of Emerging Software Standards, IBM
I support the OASIS XML Interchange Language (XMILE) for System Dynamics TC Charter because this specification will help integrate System Dynamics models and simulations into mainstream analytics software.
(2) (f) TC Convener
The TC Convener for the first meeting will be Karim Chichakly from isee systems.
(2) (g) Affiliation to Member Section
(2) (h) Initial contributions:
SMILE (2 April 2013): http://www.iseesystems.com/community/support/SMILEv4.pdf
XMILE (2 April 2013): http://www.iseesystems.com/community/support/XMILEv4.pdf
Director of Standards Development and TC Administration
OASIS: Advancing open standards for the information society
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Mobile: +1 201-341-1393