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Subject: Re: [legalcitem] Template for use cases with some examples

Dear all,

in the Legislative-subcommittee we are using the attached template for collecting our use cases in order to describe simple and odd cases, and so to detect the nature of the citation, reference and identifier.

For the next Legislative-subcommittee meeting (April 23th, 11.00 EDT) we will intend to present a new updated version with examples coming from Italy, UK, EU, US, CH. Any other contribution is really welcome.


Il 15/04/2014 23:42, Fabio Vitali ha scritto:
Dear Chet,

It seems to me, I might be wrong, that the schema you propose is a template for application-oriented use cases, where specific actors perform specific tasks using a specific tool to obtain specific results.

I fear that this may provide non-useful information and may not let emerge other more meaningful information. Use cases, in particular, are meant to express clearly and vividly how the to-be-implemented tool will be used to satisfy an important user goal.

For instance, actors and contexts, which are key aspects of use cases in the requirement analysis of software engineering, do not seem particularly relevant here: the use case describing a specific actor in a specific context examining a citation that is well-formed and fully understandable seems identical to the use case of a specific actor in a specific context examining a citation that is ill-formed and hardly understandable, except for the fact that one is well formed and the other is well formed, which has nothing to do with neither the specific actor nor the specific context.

What we need to find out, I believe, is how citations are formed, how can they be described as well-formed and how they are ill-formed, and how to determine the relevant document given the citation.

As such, I believe that it is not appropriate to consider tools for functional requirements of software tools, but rather to the even more ancient and arcane methodologies for subject classifications used in library science. Check for instance Library Classification on wikipedia.

Library science authors describe classification scheme as either enumerative or analytico-synthetic. Enumerative classifications employ a top-down approach, so as to organize and structure the overall corpus into narrower parts until the content of each part describes a specific concept. Analytico-synthetic classifications identify in a bottom-up fashion the basic concepts for each element of the collection being organized, and from the resulting concepts generate a schema to arrange them in a classification.

>From this perspective, the technical SC should try to produce the borderlines and master approaches of an enumerative schema, while the individual SC should be considering the analytico-synthetic approaches, so as to identify in their variability the domain of documents they are in charge of.

Rather than describing people and contexts, therefore, they should describe types of documents, and the facets (also check Faceted classification on wikipedia) they can be described by. The subjects are the documents, the outputs are the relevant facets and the vocabulary of values such facets may assume, starting with the most frequent and "normal" examples and rapidly navigating towards the exceptions, the hybrids, the borderlines, the monsters.

I believe that a reasonable structure therefore should go as follows:

Document Type Name: a descriptive name for the document

Used in: the country, other geographical and jurisdictional determinations, offices and contexts

Description: a brief and poignant description of the document's purpose, nature and variability

Facets (attributes, property, features): the set of "clearly defined, mutually exclusive, and collectively exhaustive aspects, properties or characteristics of a class or specific subject"

Vocabularies: for each facet, the nature, type and if possible exhaustive list of values that each facet my be described by.

Examples: a few simple examples (to express in its width the variability of the normal cases), and as many borderline, monster and peculiar examples as possible.

Support material: in my experience, cover pages, colophons, and tables of content contain the core of the information relevant to describe a document.

For instance, being able to assign all the elements of a cover page to one facet or another would already be an important way to verify the correctness and completeness of one's job.

That's all, I think




Il giorno 15/apr/2014, alle ore 18:09, Chet Ensign <chet.ensign@oasis-open.org> ha scritto:

LegalCiteM members,

A bit later than promised however, attached, please find a sample use case template for review and discussion. We roughed this out last week and I think it strikes a balance between simplicity on one hand - not driving down into too much detail - and sufficiency on the other - each can clearly spell out a business or technical need in enough detail for us to (a) decide whether the output produced by the TC should enable the use case to satisfied and (b) determine whether or not proposed solutions actually do.

The fields of the use cases are:

1. Title - a short, descriptive name for the use case

2. Description / user story - the broad description of what someone wants to accomplish

3. Example - a specific example of the user story in practice

4. Goal - what the result of the application of a legal citation standard to the user story would produce

5. Actors - the participants in the user story

6. Dependencies - essentially the bits that would have to be in place in order to enable the user story to be satisfied

7. Assumptions - any assumptions about how the world works that underlies the user story

Perhaps we can discuss this template and the examples at tomorrow's meeting?


Chet Ensign
Director of Standards Development and TC Administration
OASIS: Advancing open standards for the information society

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Fabio Vitali                            Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly,
Dept. of Computer Science        Man got to sit and wonder "Why, why, why?'
Univ. of Bologna  ITALY               Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land,
phone:  +39 051 2094872              Man got to tell himself he understand.
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Attachment: legislative-v1.0-wd01-vocabularyv1.docx
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