Challenging Innovation in IS Development through Digital Design Thinking

Speaker: Wilfrid Utz and Iulia Vaidian


Abstract: The emergence of disruptive business ecosystems leads to new dimensions also in information systems development and operation. One approach to tackle this complex task of defining the new requirements for IS is Design Thinking. The goal is to enable collaboration and co-creation among different stakeholders based on tangible visualisation of certain aspects of the ecosystem to explore different scenarios and innovative solutions.
The societal trends show that working in globally distributed networks is omnipresent. Hence, the physical collaborative environment must be transformed into a digital co-creation space that is location and time-independent. Thus, a software-supported digital design thinking environment, that facilitates the transfer of ideas from the physical world to the virtual world, by creating digital conceptual models is required. The Scene2Model software tool enables creative collaboration in the digital age. The keynote will highlight the value of transforming design artefacts into digital models and their role in driving innovation in information systems development. These models play an essential role in connecting the innovation to its enterprise context and work environment as they capture relationships between different facets of the targeted problem. The interplay of Conceptual Modelling and Design Thinking fosters this relation and establishes a connection between unrestrained design artefacts and more formal abstractions (e.g., business process models). Conceptual models can be co-created, assessed, and shared with stakeholders and IS developers to embed the collective intelligence of the community in iterative cycles and to improve the design artefacts. Machine-readable semantics are needed to enable model-value functionalities such as queries, while at the same time supporting understanding and interpretation through visual means. Two layers of interpretability are enabled – one for users, and the other for machines, as automated mechanisms are enabled in support of design assessments and decision-making.

About the Speakers:
Wilfrid Utz received his PhD from the University of Vienna, Research Group Knowledge Engineering in the field of metamodel design and conceptual structures. He has been involved in international research and innovation projects and gained experience in the field of modeling method conceptualization, meta-model design, and implementation of modeling tools using ADOxx in various application domains. His research and professional interest relate to knowledge representation using metamodeling concepts and platforms.
Iulia Vaidian received her master’s degree at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Supply Chain Management and gained experience in design thinking, business process management, and conceptual modelling concepts and technologies in her responsibilities as part of the Research Group Knowledge Engineering from the University of Vienna and the OMiLAB team. She is responsible for the organization of the NEMO Summer School Series, has been involved in various EU-funded projects, and coordinates the OMiLAB Community of Practice.

Domain ontologies, business models, enterprise models, requirements models, and software models,
What is the difference? It is all about Conceptual Modelling.

Speaker: Geert Poels

(Ghent University, Belgium)

Abstract: The creation of models for facilitating and supporting understanding, communication, analysis, and design, is a common research theme in many academic disciplines that contribute to the practice of information systems development. Based on the speaker’s own experiences of being involved in different disciplines, this keynote sheds some light on the purpose and nature of the models that are intended to be used by ontology engineers, entrepreneurs and business designers, enterprise architects, requirements engineers, and software engineers, focusing on their commonalities rather than their differences. The keynote will highlight common concerns that provide opportunities for research across disciplines and will end with an outlook on how conceptual modelling and model-driven development can remain relevant in the rapidly evolving information systems development reality that is characterised by agile work approaches, no/low-code development, data mining pipelines, and artificial intelligence applications.

About the Speaker: Geert Poels is a Senior Full Professor of Business Informatics at Ghent University (Belgium). He graduated with an MSc in Business Engineering (1991), an MSc in Informatics (1993), and a PhD in Applied Economics (1999) at the KU Leuven (Belgium). Since 2002 he is a professor in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Ghent University where he heads the Business Informatics research group, which is active in Business Data Analytics (BDA), Business Process Management (BPM), and Enterprise Modelling, Engineering and Architecture (EMEA). Geert Poels is also a co-developer of the COBIT 2019 Framework for Enterprise IT Governance. Since 2022 he is a professor at the Flanders Make strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry. He is a program board member and lecturer of the MSc in Enterprise Architecture of the IC Institute, which is a branch of, a high-end strategic enterprise architecture consultancy firm. He was the program chair of the CAiSE22 conference. Geert Poels has been involved in conceptual modelling research since his PhD research on model-based metrics for object-oriented software specifications. He is a co-author of frameworks for conceptual model quality and has investigated conceptual modelling in a wide variety of contexts including Software Design, Value Models, Business Ontology, Service Systems, Business Architecture, Business Process Models, Capability Maps, User Stories, Digital Platforms, and Digital Twins.

Bridging the Gap: Large Language Models and Symbolic Information Processing

Speaker: Arlindo Oliveira

(IST, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)

Abstract: Large language models have the potential to revolutionize the way humans interact with symbolic information systems by serving as human-friendly interfaces. This approach can significantly enhance user experience, accessibility, and efficiency across various domains. By leveraging natural language processing capabilities, large language models can understand and interpret complex human language inputs, translating them into queries or commands that symbolic information systems can process. This enables users to interact with systems like relational databases, search engines, or domain-specific software, such as accounting, payroll, and reservation information systems, using everyday language, rather than specialized syntax or programming languages.
This natural interaction will lower the barrier to entry for non-experts, making advanced systems more accessible to a broader audience. Users can ask questions or provide commands in a conversational manner, reducing the need for extensive training or technical knowledge. Moreover, large language models can provide context-aware and personalized responses, further enhancing user experience. By understanding the user’s intent and preferences, these models can deliver more relevant and accurate results, improving the overall efficiency of information retrieval and processing.
In addition, this approach can facilitate collaboration between humans and AI systems, allowing for more effective problem-solving and decision-making. By serving as an intermediary, large language models can help bridge the gap between human intuition and the vast computational power of symbolic information systems.
In summary, the integration of large language models as human-friendly interfaces for symbolic information systems holds immense potential for transforming the way we interact with technology. This approach can democratize access to advanced systems, improve user experience, and foster more effective collaboration between humans and AI.

About the Speaker: Arlindo Oliveira was born in Angola and lived in Mozambique, Portugal, Switzerland, California, Massachusetts, and Japan. He obtained his BSc and MSc degrees from Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a distinguished professor of IST, president of the INESC group, member of the board of Caixa Geral de Depósitos, a researcher at INESC-ID, and member of the National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation and of the Advisory Board of the Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) Panel of the European Parliament. He authored four books, translated into different languages, and hundreds of scientific and newspaper articles. He has been on the boards of several companies and institutions and is a past president of IST, the Portuguese Association for Artificial Intelligence, and INESC-ID. He was the head of the Portuguese node of the European Network for Biological Data (ELIXIR), a visiting professor at MIT and the University of Tokyo, and a researcher at CERN, INESC, Cadence Research Laboratories and Electronics Research Labs of UC Berkeley. He is a member of the Portuguese Academy of Engineering and a senior member of IEEE. He received several prizes and distinctions, including the Technical University of Lisbon / Santander prize for excellence in research, in 2009.