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Morphological Ontology Design Engineering: A Methodology to Model Ill-Structured Problems

Morphological Ontology Design Engineering: A Methodology to Model Ill-Structured Problems
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Author(s): Joey Jansen van Vuuren (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa), Louise Leenen (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa), Marthie M. Grobler (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa), Ka Fai Peter Chan (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa) and Zubeida C. Khan (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa)
Copyright: 2016
Pages: 30
Source title: Mixed Methods Research for Improved Scientific Study
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mette Lise Baran (Cardinal Stritch University, USA) and Janice Elisabeth Jones (Cardinal Stritch University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0007-0.ch014

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Abstract

In the Social-technical domain scientists are often confronted with a class of problems that are termed messy, ill-structured or wicked. These problems address complex issues that not well-defined, contain unresolvable uncertainties, and are characterized by a lack of common agreement on problem definition. This chapter proposes a new mixed methods research technique, Morphological Ontology Design Engineering (MODE), which can be applied to develop models for ill-structured problems. MODE combines three different research methodologies into a single, methodology. MODE draws from research paradigms that include exploratory and descriptive research approaches to develop models. General morphological analysis offers a systematic method to extract meaningful information from domain experts, while ontology based representation is used to logically represent domain knowledge. The design science methodology guides the entire process. MODE is applied to a case study where an ontological model is developed to support the implementation of a South African national cybersecurity policy.

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