Systems Analysis and Design


Modeling guidelines are intended to help modelers develop conceptual models. Therefore it is assumed that these guidelinesassist modelers in developing models. However research suggests that modeling guidelines are often complex. Thus there is aconcern that if modeling guidelines are not well designed, modelers may not find them useful and will have difficulty inapplying them. In the context of developing conceptual models, the effectiveness of ontological modeling guidelines haspreviously been tested. However, the usefulness of these guidelines has not previously been investigated. To test theusefulness of ontological modeling guidelines, four modeling situations were developed in UML class diagrams. Using aprotocol analysis study, the cognitive difficulties of modelers placed into these situations were identified. The results indicatethat the proper application and use of ontological modeling guidelines can significantly reduce the cognitive efforts ofmodelers. However, if the ontological modeling guidelines are inadequate, they increase rather than decrease modelers’cognitive efforts.