An interactive situation model (ISM) is a novel computer artefact used to represent state-as-experi-enced. The meaning of an ISM is the perceived association between the state of the ISM and the state of its real-world referent during arbitrary interactions. The concept leads to a quality of modelling radically different from conventional computer-hosed modelling. This is illustrated by ISMs for timetabling, railway operation, warehouse and restaurant management. This approach to modelling represents a paradigm shift from a 'method-tool-user' culture to one where the computer-as-agent integrates more closely and flexibly with human and business activities.
modelling, information systems, decision support systems