Due to the above two important features of knowledge organization, expert analysts can have better performance in information requirement analysis by (1) processing large amounts of information into meaningful chunks; (2) retrieving the knowledge structure easily; and (3) categorizing problems into standard types based on underlying domain principles (Batra & Davis; 1992).
Empirical research on the cognitive process of information requirement analysis has identified a strong association among the activities of gathering information, identifying relevant facts, and conceptual modeling (Batra & Davis, 1992; Sutcliffe & Maiden, 1992).
Gentner's structure-mapping model of analogy will be used in this research as the basis for the cognitive process model of information requirement analysis because of the following two reasons: First, the output of the structure-mapping model of analogy is a situation model of the problem context under investigation, which is the same as the output by the cognitive processes of text comprehension and information requirement analysis.
This assumption express the concern of the structure-mapping model is the cognitive process of building a situation model, which is the same as that of text comprehension and information requirement analysis.
On the basis of the structure-mapping model of analogy (Falkenhainer, Forbus, & Gentner, 1990; Gentner, 1983; Gentner & Markman, 1997), this research proposes a cognitive process model of information requirement analysis to explicate the modeling behaviors of information analysts as shown in Figure 1 (Huang & Burns, 2000).
In this section, we will assume a requirement sentence, "The customer first sends an order to John, the order clerk," in a problem statement of an order processing system as an example to illustrate the cognitive process of information requirement modeling.
Without an adequate model of information requirement analysis, research studies may miss influential variables in viewing and comparing the cognitive processes of information requirement analysis, resulting in erroneous findings.
To answer the research question, this article proposes a cognitive model of information requirement analysis on the basis of the structure building theory of language comprehension (Gernsbacher, 1990).
First, I review the characteristics of information requirement analysis, the cognitive variables for the performance of information requirement analysis, and the cognitive models used in current cognitive research of information requirement analysis.
In this section, I first give a brief overview on the characteristics of information requirement analysis.
Information requirement analysis is the first stage of information systems development.
Finally, the research in the dimension of problem domains argues that the characteristics of problem domains should be the basis for the selection of requirement analysis techniques for information requirement analysis.