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Categories of Mismatches between Producer and Consumer?

  • To: xml-dev@l...
  • Subject: Categories of Mismatches between Producer and Consumer?
  • From: "Roger L. Costello" <costello@m...>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2003 15:17:13 -0400
  • Cc: "Costello,Roger L." <costello@m...>
  • Organization: The MITRE Corporation

example of producer
Hi Folks,

Terminology: a "producer" creates and outputs data; a "consumer" inputs
and processes data.  

Objective: Below I try to categorize all the *potential* mismatches
between a producer and a consumer, with respect to data. 

Question: Are there other categories that I am missing?  Do you agree
with my categories?

Category 1: Interpretation Differences

1. Structure mismatch: the producer creates the data with a 
   certain structure and the consumer expects it in a different 

   Example: The producer specifies a date as mm-dd-yy but 
   the consumer interprets it as mm-dd-yy.

2. Units mismatch: the producer and consumer use different units.

   Example: the producer gave the data in inches but the consumer
   interprets the data in centimeters.

3. Meaning mismatch: the consumer interprets the data in a different 
   way than the producer intended.

   Example: the consumer interprets an aircraft "departure time" to 
   mean the time the doors shut, while the producer meant it as the 
   the time the wheels touch off.

4. Reference system mismatch: the producer and consumer interprets 
   the data using different reference systems.  

   Example1: the producer expresses time in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT),
   the consumer expects the time in Eastern Standard Time (EST).

   Example2: the producer provides directions by giving the distance 
   to the town relative to the center of a known town, while the 
   consumer interprets the distance relative to the outskirts of 
   the known town.

Category 2: Terminology Differences

1. Terminology mismatch: the producer and consumer use different 
   terms to mean the same thing.

   Example: the producer uses the term f-stop, while the consumer 
   knows it as aperture.

Category 3: Knowledge of New Capabilities Differences

1. New type-of: a consumer may not be coded to understand data about 
   a new class of thing.

   Example: a producer outputs data about a new type of Camera, 
   an Xj3-SLR. The consumer understands Cameras, but not an 

Category 4: Amount of Data Needed Differences

1. Differing expectations of completeness: the producer and consumer 
   may have different ideas on what constitutes a complete set of 

   Example: the producer provides the address to the Prudential Tower 
   in Boston as  Prudential Tower, Boston, MA 02215, while the 
   consumer expects the address to also include the street address.

That's what I have thus far.  Anything that you could add would be
appreciated.  /Roger


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