There is no reason to Abstract or Elaborate anything unless
the abstracted or elaborated information is to be used for something.
Abstraction is a process used to remove or suppress information that is less
relevant to the user of the information at the abstracted level. Elaboration is
a process used to create or add information that is more relevant to the user
of the information at the elaborated level.
Abstraction and Elaboration, therefore, are mechanisms which
allows the same fundamental thing to be viewed by different stakeholders with
potentially very different viewpoints and there is no theoretical limit to how
many times information can be abstracted or elaborated. Whether you view
something as being an abstraction or an elaboration is defined by the direction
you are looking. If you are looking up to a more abstract level, the
information is said to be an elaboration of the information above. If you are
looking down to a more elaborated level, the information is said to be an
abstraction of the information below.
POET uses, and advocates the use of the four primitives of
Abstraction and Elaboration:
Subtraction/Addition - These
are the simplest types of Abstraction and Elaboration.
Moving up, we abstract things by removing information. We subtract
from them to make smaller things.
Moving down, we elaborate things by adding information. We add to
them to make bigger things.
Composition/Decomposition - The
second most complex types of Abstraction and Elaboration.
Moving up, we abstract things by grouping them together into
larger things. We Compose them into larger parts.
Moving down, we elaborate things by breaking them apart into
smaller things. We Decompose them into smaller parts.
Generalisation/Specialisation - The
third most complex types of Abstraction and Elaboration.
Moving up, we abstract things by creating more generic things. We
Generalise them into more general things.
Moving down, we elaborate things by creating more specific
things. We Specialise them into more specific things.
Idealisation/Realisation - The
most complex, and most important, of all types of Abstraction and Elaboration
Moving up, abstracts things by transforming them into more
idealised things. Akin to Analysis and Architecture.
Moving down, we elaborate things by transformation them into more
real things. Akin to Design and Engineering.