DHS group wants harmonization, visualization tools

DHS group wants harmonization, visualization tools

A request for information from the Homeland Security Department’s Interagency Core Data Types Working Group could influence the future of all e-government projects, according to Owen Ambur, co-chairman of the CIO Council’s Extensible Markup Language Working Group community of practice.

The software the group selects “may set a precedent,” Ambur said, so he is hoping for a “comprehensive and thorough set of responses” from industry. He said DHS metadata program manager Mike Daconta heads the working group that issued the RFI.

The RFI appears online here.

A core data model, according to the RFI, is one that can work across multiple information domains. The RFI calls for tools to “compare similar conceptual and logical data models to determine the common data elements” as well as distinguish the similar and dissimilar elements.

Vendors who respond to the RFI should ensure that their software can:

  • Import various kinds of data models—for example, entity relationship models created with the AllFusion ERwin Data Modeler from Computer Associates International Inc.

  • Deal with the Unified Modeling Language, XML Schema, Resource Description Framework and Web Ontology Language

  • Analyze the linguistic and semantic components of multiple models to determine their equivalence, similarity and dissimilarity

  • Visualize the models, either side by side or with lines and color shading to show points of equivalence, similarity and dissimilarity

  • Allow multiple users to work simultaneously

  • Automate the extraction of common data elements to produce a new “skeleton model” that can be refined by hand

  • Map and convert the source data models into the final format and export it in multiple ways.


Responses to the RFI are due by Feb. 28 to MCoe@DHS.gov.

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