Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence

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Testing for “Meta” Somethings – An Example

The definition I use for meta- is from Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (MWUD)[1]:

3b: of a higher logical type – in nouns formed from names of disciplines and designating new but related disciplines such as can deal critically with the nature, structure, or behavior of the original ones *metalanguage* *metatheory* *metasystem*

In the definition of something that can also be meta- I recommend that there be an active verb that requires an object. The something must be able to be both subject and object of that verb. Example: model Definition (loosely): A model is something that represents another something. Active Verb Requiring an Object: represents Ability to Play Both Subject and Object of the Verb: In the definition above …
    • Suppose the “another something” is other models.
    • Then “other models” can be substituted for the object, which yields: “a model is something that represents other models”.
    • So “model” can play both subject and object of the verb.
    • That makes the subject a meta-model.
    • Substituting “meta-model” for the subject yields: “a meta-model is something that represents other models”.
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[1] This series of point/counterpoint replies is a follow-up to my post “Meta Here. Meta There. Meta Everywhere?” (March 31, 2014), which generated a surprising amount of great discussion. (Thanks all!) Refer to: http://www.brsolutions.com/2014/03/31/meta-here-meta-there-meta-everywhere/  

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Ronald G. Ross

Ronald G. Ross

Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.