3.3. Resource Identity

Determining the identity of resources that belong in a domain, deciding which properties are important or relevant to the people or systems operating in that domain, and then specifying the principles by which those properties encapsulate or define the relationships among the resources are the essential tasks when building any organizing system. In organizing systems used by individuals or with small scope, the methods for doing these tasks are often ad hoc and unsystematic, and the organizing systems are therefore idiosyncratic and do not scale well. At the other extreme, organizing systems designed for institutional or industry-wide use, especially in information-intensive domains, require systematic design methods to determine which resources will have separate identities and how they are related to each other. These resources and their relationships are then described in conceptual models which guide the implementation of the systems that manage the resources and support interactions with them.

3.3.1. Identity and Physical Resources

Our human visual and cognitive systems do a remarkable job at picking out objects from their backgrounds and distinguishing them from each other. In fact, we have little difficulty recognizing an object or a person even if we are seeing them from a novel distance and viewing angle or with different lighting, shading, and so on. When we watch a football game, we do not have any trouble perceiving the players moving around the ...

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