Change the world


Modelling in Information Systems Research and Development

2018 Annual Seminar of the Southern African Chapter of the Association for Information Systems (AISSAC)
26th September 2018
Venue: Boardwalk Hotel, Convention Center and Spa
Registration: 8:00-8:30


As Information Systems researchers, developers and practitioners, we use models every day but we seldom stop and think about our use of models. As discussed by Herbert Simon in his seminal The Sciences of the Artificial, models are crucial for developing, using or researching any artificial artifact.  The purpose of this seminar is to discuss the use of models in Information Systems (IS). How do we use them? When and why do we use them? What makes a good model?

A model is often formally defined as a ‘representation, generally in miniature, to show the construction or appearance of something’. As a representation the model therefore fulfils a key function in research and development of IS systems because it promotes understanding of what it represents. Understanding is critical given the inherent complexity of modern Information Systems. 



8:00 - 8:30:          ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION

8:30 - 8:45:          WELCOME AND OFFICIAL OPENING – Jan Mentz

8:45 - 9:45:          KEYNOTE SESSION 1: Dr Quentin Williams, Research Manager CSIR Meraka

9:45 - 10:30:        SHORT PAPERS

10:30 - 11:00:      TEA/COFFEE

11:00 - 12:00:      KEYNOTE SESSION 2:  OmiLab: Advanced Modelling Support through Meta-modelling platforms (ADOxx)  (Austrian Keynote Speakers)

FACILITATOR: Aurona Gerber

12:00 - 12:30:      WORKSHOP / DEMONSTRATION PART 1

12:30 - 13:30:      LUNCH

13:30 - 14:15:      WORKSHOP / DEMONSTRATION PART 2

14:15 - 15:00:      PANEL DISCUSSION

TOPIC: The Africanisation of the Information Systems Syllabus’.


15:00 - 15:30:      TEA/COFFEE

15:30 - 16:30:      AISSAC AGM



Keynote 1: 

Dr Quentin Williams is the Strategic Research Manager of the CSIR Meraka Institute. He completed a BEng in electronic engineering at Stellenbosch University, followed by a PhD in engineering from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom with emphasis on using medical image analyses to understand cardiac disease. 

After completing his Phd, Dr Williams started working at the CSIR in March 2006. He was initially involved in setting up a research team and focus for the CSIR Meraka Institute's "Intelligent Environments for Independent Living" group. Here his work concentrated on using machine intelligence techniques in technologies that aid persons with disabilities. In particular, focussing on both the adoption of technology in difficult market neglect areas, as well as the development of intention detection algorithms based on statistically artificial intelligence techniques. He was a key technical lead in the development of the National ICT research, development and innovation (RDI) implementation Roadmap for the Department of Science and Technology (DST) adopted by the South African cabinet in 2013. He was instrumental in the established of a Data Science, Analytics and Visualisation group in which 50 vacation students annually and 7 Masters Students are currently focusing on visual analytics; distributed and streaming machine learning; optimisation and data implementation platforms. He is also a founder member of the Center for Al Research (CAIR), currently a DST distributed center of excellence (


Keynote 2: 

OMiLab: Advanced Modelling Support through Meta-modelling platforms (ADOxx)  (Austrian Keynote Speakers)

The Open Models (OMi) Laboratory is a dedicated research and experimentation space for the conceptualization, development, and deployment of modelling methods and the models designed with them. Both a physical and virtual place, it is equipped with tools to explore method creation and design, experiment with method engineering and deploy software tools for modelling. ADOxx is a meta modelling development and configuration platform for implementing modelling tools. The NRF funded a collaborative project with the University of Vienna, the University of Pretoria and OMiLAB to develop a Enterprise Architecture modelling environment using ADOxx, Archimate and TOGAF. In this keynote session we will present some of the research findings.


Panel: The day will conclude with a panel introducing the topic of the 2019 AISSAC seminar, namely ‘The Africanisation of the Information Systems Syllabus’.

Preliminary confirmed panel members are:

  • Prof Jan Kroeze (chair, lecturer, UNISA)
  • Prof Maureen Tanner (lecturer, UCT)
  • Mr Pitso Tsilolane (lecturer, UCT)
  • Dr Quentin Williams (Research Manager, CSIR Meraka Institute)
  • Mr Emil van der Poll (PhD student, UNISA)


Seminar Fee: R1000

Student Fee: R400