Because of many enterprises invest money on IT in order to get fast and accurate information exchange, high productivity as well as cost cut through integrating business processes.Normally enterprises don’t replace legacy system with a new system , sometimes legacy mission critical system may have to integrate with new system. Actually systems integration is not just connections among IT systems. It is the issues of the whole organization where both social and technical aspects need to be considered.
This paper will introduce a new concept of semiotics interoperability which is defined into different level of interoperability. Semiotic interoperability provides a solid conceptual framework by explaining how signs can be successfully communicated in different level.
The word ‘semiotics’ comes from the Greek for ‘symptom’.
signifier’ – the material form of the sign‘signified’ – the object, action, event or concept it represents
The sign that stands for something elseThe object it refers to (what the sign represents)The interpretant (usually a person) who fulfils the office of an interpreter – this refers to the interpretation placed on the sign
Examples for iconic signs are images,diagrams,maps,portraits,photo graphs and icons of the algebraic kind.Examples are smoke signifying fire,athermometer,a knock on a door,footprints,and pain in the stomach.
Information systems integration can be seen as the process of sign communication not only among technical systems but also interactions in the social environment surround the systems. Technical integration is the preliminary stage of integration which allows information systems to understand each other’s functionalities in order to improve efficiency of using information comprehensive information systems integration should fully consider and depends on the successful use of sign at different levels of communications, interactions and social activities.physical level about interconnection of devices via computer networks; application level dealing with interoperability of software applications and database systems in heterogeneous computing environments;business level on coordination of functions that manage, control and monitor business processes.
Organisational semiotics is one of the branches of semiotics particularly related to business and organisations.
Physics as a separate branch concerned with the physical aspects of signs at the level of signals and marksThe physical properties of a sign can be its shape,size,contrast,intensity ,moving speed,acceleration,loudness depending on the type of the sign.Empirics has been introduced as another branch to study the statistical properties of signs when different physical media and devices are used. deal with coding,entropymeasurement,optimal signal transmission,channelcapacity,etc.Syntactic, semantics and pragmatics respectively deal with the structures, meanings and usage of signs Social world has been defined as the effects of the use of signs in human affairs.
level indicates that connectivity between networks, hardware and devices. the data transmission cannot be succeeded without proper communication channelPhysical interoperability is achieved when a chain of physical tokens, transmitted along a route, is received at the other end, by the receiver, conserving the same physical properties. RAM , Disk Storage, Bandwidth , Transmission speed
For example, specific bandwidth and proper communication protocols such as IEEE 108.11g have to be matched for both systems in order to successfully transmit the data.
For example, a program wrote in JAVA cannot be recognised by other non-JAVA supported information systems. However, although the syntactic level is achieved, the communication still may fail if the message cannot be understood by other information systems.
successful communication at this level is achieved if the hearer understands the speaker’s intentions, irrespective of the semantic interpretation of the communicative act.
Perceptual norms are implicitly agreed ways of seeing the world.With these norms,words canbe assigned meanings that enable people to use them as labels on the happeningsaround them. People can code the message picked up by the eyesand ears in a way that is useful to other people.Cognitive norms are the standardized beliefs and knowledge possessed by a group. These norms ensure that the members of the group acquire the knowledge and expectations about the world which have been accumulated by other members of the cultural group. Evaluative norms direct the group towards common ends. They provide a framework of valuation with which people’s behavior can be assessed. Behavior norms govern people so that they behave in an appropriate manner in a given cultural setting.
These two levels are the technical infrastructure which is provided by the telephone companies. They are normally not the concern of the users.Syntactical - speak the same language.
pragmatic - if person A calls person B and says ‘I’m interested in your goods but the price is a bit too high', A's intention will be to ask whether B can lower the price a bit.Social level -B answers ‘You’ll get ten per cent discount if you buy ten or more of the PCs’,ther e will be an obligation on B to give the discount if A buys ten or more PCs.
Social level ApplicationdomainThe scope and boundary within which a provenancesystem is designed to be used.Data processingarchitectureDifferent architectures or modes of data processing thatcreate the objects of provenance capture.SocialconsequencesThe types of consequences that can result from theactions or decision performed by the users of dataprovenance.ActioncomplexityThe nature of the actions. The actions can bestructured, semi-structured, or unstructured.Pragmatics AcquisitioncomplexityThe level of automation of provenance acquisitiontechniques as well as costs and overhead incurred.AcquisitionscopeThe range of sources for the acquisition of provenanceinformation.Trust andsecurityThe extent to which the captured data provenance canbe trusted to be uncompromised and free from error.Usability The extent to which the captured provenance is usefulwith regard to satisfying various provenance-relatedinquiries.Semantics Semantics ofprovenanceThe meaning of provenance and the aspects of dataprovenance that are captured.Syntactics Representation ofprovenanceThe schemes and languages used for representingprovenance.
The researchprogramme MEASUR (Stamper 1993) has developed a set of methods todeal with all aspects of information systems development.The Architecture and Implementation of Digital Hospital - Information System Integration for Seamless Business Process (2010) phd
- a critical step towards systems integration
AS2010427 - K.A.D.Y.L. Kuruppuachchi
AS2010377 – M.K.H. Gunasekara
CSC 364 1.5 Seminar 2
Department of Computer Science and Statistics
University of Sri Jayewardenepura
• Semiotics concepts
• Information Systems Integration And
• Semiotic Interoperability
• Semiotic Interoperability framework
• Information systems integration is becoming
critical for organization .
• Legacy systems often generates needs for
integration with new systems .
• The ideal integration of information systems
should be organic and seamless communications
among not only technical systems but also
process, norms, people, culture as well as
• The nature of information systems integration lies
in the successful signs communication among
• Semiotics, as the study of signs, provides the
theoretical foundation on how signs can be
successfully communicated among systems.
• Organizational semiotics provides a theoretical
foundation for systems interoperability.
• A notion of ‘semiotic interoperability’ is proposed
in this research as a paradigm.
• Semiotics, as the study of signs that examines the
nature and properties of all kinds of signs
(Morris, 1946; Peirce, 1931),
• Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), founded semiotics as the
‘formal doctrine of signs’.
• Signs and symbols can be studied, not only in language
(both written and spoken forms), but also in
rituals, culture, images and art – in fact, anything that
can be ‘read’ as text.
• Semiotic researchers do not study signs in
isolation, rather they study the conventions governing
the use of signs and sign systems.
• A sign can mean one thing in one particular cultural context,
but mean something quite different in another
• Signs can also change their meaning over time
• Semiotics has been used especially in information systems,
management, marketing and organizational studies
• Marketing researchers have used semiotics in research on
advertising, brand image and marketing communications
Signifier and signified
Sign, object and interpretant
Icon, index and symbol
Encoding and decoding
Signifier and signified
• Saussure distinguished between two things:
• The signifier is a sign or symbol that can stand for
something else. By definition, all words are
signifiers since they always stand for something
else (e.g. a thought, a feeling, or a thing). A signifier
is used by the person wanting to communicate
• The signified is what the sign or symbol represents
– what it is interpreted to mean by the receiver of
Sign, object and interpretant
• Peirce distinguished between three things:
• Sign : The written word ‘house’ or a drawing of a house.
• Object : The category ‘house’.
• Interpretant : Anyone who is involved in reading and
interpreting the sign.
• Peirce’s view recognizes that the same sign can
have different meanings depending upon the
• For example the word ‘slim’, although the spelling is
the same in both languages, means ‘cleaver’ in
Dutch while in English it means ‘thin’.
Icon, index and symbol
• An icon is a sign that signifies its meaning by qualities of
its own; it is like the thing it represents (e.g. the icon of
a trash can on Apple and Windows computers)
• A sign can also act as an index:
• An indexical sign points to or indicates something else. For
example, a wavy line on a road might ‘point to’ bends in the
road a few hundred yards ahead.
• A symbol is something that stands for or is symbolic of
something else (Eg: the three colors of traffic lights.)
• The three categories of signs are not separate and
distinct; a complex sign may be a mixture of several
Encoding and decoding
• The only way that messages can be sent from
one person to another is via the use of a
• Encoding is the process of transforming any
thought or communication into a message
• Decoding is the process of reading the
message and understanding what it means
• For example, consider the road code - only
someone who can read the road signs
correctly is allowed to obtain a driver’s
Integration And Interoperability
• Information systems integration is the process that
ensures the interaction between information
systems necessary to achieve domain objectives.
• The development of information systems
integration can be divided into two phases:
technical integration and comprehensive
• (Chen and Vernadat, 2004) defines three levels
from enterprise interoperability.
• Sub branch of semiotics.
• It is the study of organizations using the concepts
and methods of semiotics.
• The scope of organisational semiotics includes both
public and private organizations and concerns their
inner workings, their interactions with the
environment and with one another.
• Addressed fields such as marketing, human
resource management, business law and business
to work together through communication with
• the physical properties
• transmission structure of signs
• placing emphasis on communicating meaning
• social consequence of information
• This level is concerned with the physical connection
and transmission channel in sign communication.
• The hardware devices of the systems must be
interconnected in order to support the data
• This level ensures sign transmission through
compatible channels and protocols between
• This level is concerned with the matching of coding
and decoding between sign sender and receiver.
• This level ensures the capacity of communication
channels and protocols of different information
systems are matched.
• Syntactic interoperability ensures data exchange
between systems through compatible formats and
• The syntactic interoperability is achieved when the
expression of information, or language, or formula
can be recognized by different information systems.
• This level indicates the ability of interpreting and
converting information into equivalent meaning to
allow information sharing between systems.
• Semantic level is concerned with the meaning of
• communication is successful if signs are interpreted
for both sender and receiver according to same
• Pragmatics is the level of semiotics concerned with
the relationship between signs and the potential
behavior / intention of responsible agents, in a
• This level ensures that processes supposed by the
systems in individual contexts can be aggregated to
achieve the overall intended purpose.
• This level ensures that the resultant interoperable
systems should be coherent with the social
commitment, obligation and norms in the
organization and support organization's strategy,
vision and objectives.
• Norms have long been classified into several
• At the physical level, the telephones must be
connected by the phone line through telephone
• At the empirical level, the voice signals will be
converted into electronic (or optical) signals and
transmitted between two telephones.
• At the syntactical level, the two people involved in
the telephone conversation must follow the same
• At the semantic level, the words, the technical and
non-technical terms, and the things referred to in
the conversations must be understood by the two
people. The sentences and the contents of the
conversation must make sense to both of them.
• At the pragmatic level, there is a concern with the
intention (of the caller),and there may be ‘silent’
messages beneath the surface.
• At the social level, social commitments and
obligations can often be created or discharged as
the result of a conversation.
BY Stamper (1973)
• The semiotic interoperability provides a theoretical
concept covering how signs are communicated
successfully from physical to social level in order to
achieve effective information systems integration.
• Weizi Li, Kecheng Liu, Shixiong Liu, 2013 ,”Semiotic
Interoperability ”, Published in proceeding of 5th
International Joint Conference on Knowledge
Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge
Management, Vilamoura, Algrave, Portugal
• Kecheng Liu,2000, “SEMIOTICS IN INFORMATION
SYSTEMS ENGINEERING”, Cambridge University Press.
• Chen, D., Vernadat, F., 2004. Standards on enterprise
integration and engineering—state of the art.
International Journal of Computer Integrated
Manufacturing 17, 235–253.