A reference model is an abstract framework for understanding significant relationships among the entities of some environment, and for the development of consistent standards or specifications supporting that environment.
The purpose of the SAM Reference Model is to encourage clear communication about this project, both internally (partners) and externally (third parties). It provides a visual guide in the form of linked concept maps that reflects all the concepts and relations identified between them, complemented by textual definitions and examples for every concept shaping a glossary.
The scope of this Reference Model is the SAM project, and thus it tries to provide coverage to the main concepts and relations involved in this project and its immediate environment. Therefore it does not try to be an extensive summary or glossary for every concept related to the three main pillars of SAM (2nd Screen, Content Syndication and Social Media), but a closed list of the main elements associated to this specific project.
Guide to Using the Reference Model
The SAM Reference Model provides a visual guide in the form of linked concept maps that reflects all the concepts and relations identified between them, complemented by textual definitions and examples for every concept shaping a glossary.
Concept maps are graphical tools for organising and representing knowledge in terms of concepts (entities) and relationships between concepts to form propositions. They provide a flexible way to illustrate any type of system. In a concept map, concepts are used to represent regularity in events or objects, or records of events or objects. Propositions are statements about some objects or events in the universe, either naturally occurring or constructed. Propositions contain two or more concepts connected using linking words or phrases to form a meaningful statement. In the graphical representation, concepts are inscribed in circles or boxes, while propositions (proposition connectors) are represented as (directed) lines connecting concepts, labelled with words describing the linking relationship.
The concept maps of the SAM Reference Model can be accessed and navigated via a web interface (see Section Concept Maps below), offering users the possibility to move from one concept to another through the linked concept maps, and reach the corresponding definition for every concept.
The analysis of the different sources of information to build the Reference Model provided a total of 165 concepts and 403 relations between those concepts. From the point of view of usability and clarity, it is unfeasible to include all these concepts and relations in a single concept map. Therefore, these entities have been distributed in 27 different concept maps, grouped forming a hierarchy of concepts. This limits the number of elements displayed in every concept map in order to keep the visualisation clear and comprehensive.
Every concept can occur in multiple concept maps. There is an original location where the concept is initially defined, and then there is the possibility to include a link to this concept in different concept maps. In this way a set of linked concept maps are obtained that users can navigate by clicking in these linked concepts that tie up different concept maps.
There are three different types of concepts in the concept maps:
- Original concept: Includes a link to its definition in the glossary. Can be identified by a document icon.
- Linking concept: Concept that links to an original concept contained in a different concept map. Can be visually identified by a black arrow similar to a Desktop Shortcut in Windows.
- Navigational concept: In order to facilitate navigation through different concept maps, every concept map includes concepts linking to previous levels of the hierarchy up to the top level concept map. These navigational concepts can be identified by a dashed line, and their only purpose is to facilitate navigation back to upper levels in the hierarchy.
Besides the concept maps, the users can directly access a glossary with the whole list of concepts in a single web page, together with their definitions and examples. This layout improves the usability of the Reference Model, facilitating the access to anyone interested in getting a deeper understanding or clarification on any concept involved in SAM. The glossary is available in the Glossary web page. This glossary not only includes terms included in the Reference Model, but also any abbreviation or concept related to SAM that takes place in the different deliverables of the project.
This section provides access to the hierarchy of concept maps defined in the Reference Model. Users can navigate through it and access to definitions by clicking on concepts. The initial diagram represents the top level concept map of the hierarchy, presenting the five concepts directly related to the main concept SAM Platform (which represents the project itself): Policy, Asset, Function, Component and User.