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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Three papers from the third international conference on information systems: introduction

The International Conference on Information Systems provides an annual forum for keeping abreast of the latest trends and developments in IS research. The conference is sponsored by the TIMS College on Information Systems and the Society for Information Management in cooperation with ACM SIGBDP. The Third International Conference on Information Systems was held December 13-15, 1982, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Alan G. Merten as chairman. Two papers from that conference have been published in recent issues, one by Ahmed S. Zaki in February and one by Margrethe H. Olson in March. They were concerned with the impact of information systems on organizations and society. The following three papers discuss new methodological approaches to the development and use of information systems. Abdel-Hamid and Madnick focus on the problem of estimating resource requirements and schedules for software development projects. They use System Dynamics, a tool for modeling systems consisting of multiple, interacting feedback loops, to explore this problem. Their results show that policies often built into the project management process can assure that projects will fail to meet their scheduled completion, regardless of the accuracy of resource requirement and project size estimates. Hart Will explores the idea of a single, unified interface to provide auditors with the access they need in today's computer-based accounting environment. Instead of the proliferation of audit software seen so far, he suggests that a common language for accessing data, programs, and text can be developed. He describes the design of such a language and speculates about its likely impact. Mason and Carey's paper is concerned with the area of information systems design. They present an Architecture-Based Methodology for prototyping interactive information systems, derived from an analogy to the architectural approach to designing buildings or other physical structures. They discuss both the special role of “architect” and the tools required to support this approach to system design, including one commercially available program product.

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