Executive SummaryΒΆ

Keep everything as simple as possible; but no simpler. (attributed to Albert Einstein)

S3Model is a foundation to build a modern data-centric information infrastructure across all domains. This capability is required in order to advance to the modern era of performing decision support services (DSS) and Big Data analysis across information coming from multiple points. These points of data creation are increasing every day as a result of more institutions bringing new digital capabilities to more functions, in addition to the plethora of new devices arriving in the Internet of Things (IoT) marketplace.

Managing information across domains is too broad for one top-down, one-size-fits-all, slow moving standards defined solution for information modeling and interoperability. S3Model is built on multiple, widely used standards.

Data is produced by people that have a need to record that data. Often that data is useful to others. In domains like healthcare and bio-sciences this is certainly true. But to simply transfer raw data is not enough for the receiver to determine if the data is useful for their needs. They need to know much more about the contexts (ontological, spatial, temporal) in which the data was captured.

For example. If I have a leaky faucet in my home and need a washer to repair it. I go to the local hardware store to purchase a new one. The attendant there doesn’t know what I need because they do not know what type of faucet I have. However, I can look at the package information and determine based on thickness, inside and outside diameters and shape (flat, conical, round, etc.) if a particular washer fits my needs. In this sense, S3Model is the packaging for data. It allows the data consumer to determine if the data is useful to them as is or maybe it can even be adjusted because the consumer knows the context in which the data was captured. Of course there are certain base standards in the plumbing industry. Just like we have datatypes (string, integer, dateTime, etc. ) and XML constructs (element, complexType, etc.). But the overall concept is similar.

The legacy application-centric approach doesn’t allow for this packaing information to be transmitted with the data. That information is locked up in, at best the source code and database table layouts and at worst in a PDF somewhere that describes cryptic SQL table column names. This prevents real decision support or artificial intelligence operations across the data from multiple sources. The human effort required to perform these reconsiliation tasks are both expensive and error prone. The data-centric approach allows you to solve these problems upfront.

S3Model can be implemented as the original information model for new applications ranging from mobile apps to enterprise suites. S3Model is also used to enhance semantic interoperability of existing systems. We have developed tooling to enhance existing CSV data files and for augmenting entire SQL-DB based systems. This provides model-driven, data-centric transition capability without replacing all of your systems.

S3Model specifically addresses the need to communicate syntactically sound data with the intended semantics. The larger, point to point issues of information exchange are already handled by other formal and de-facto standards such as SOAP, REST, etc. and S3Model is fully capable of utilizing systems built on those standards.

S3Model is the foundation for retro-fitting your current applications to inter-operate with your future applications using the modern data-centric (as opposed to legacy application-centric) approach, without requiring wholesale replacement.

Information management value propositions are varied based on the needs of the industry and individual institutions. We have assembled some examples by use case Value Propositions document.

The research and development of S3Model is based on more than a decade of interation and implementation. There have been multiple graduate and under-graduate degrees awarded based on the underlying R&D as well as the pubication of a number of peer-reviewed publications. Academic project archives are at

MLHIM Documentation archive.