The Global Architecture & Information Network (GAIN for short) is an initiative to enable more
effective government, business opportunities, transparent government and job creation by building on and
extending the U.S. leadership success in the internet combined with open source software and industry
The core of the opportunity is to create a “network of information” that will allow for federation of
government and commercial organizations processes, services, data and plans. The imperatives for
integration and collaboration are well established: greater collaboration and integration means more
effective government, more profitable business, visibility and leadership. Collaboration, integration and
information visibility are the cornerstones of a wide range of initiatives from economic recovery to
To realize President Obama’s vision of transparent, participatory and collaborative government we need
pervasive access to information. That information will be on the internet and must be able to be
understood, accessed, linked analyzed and repurposed. The network of information and architectures
GAIN can provide could be the backbone of the information resource to support these bold initiatives.
The key enabler of the Global Architecture Integration Network is a “backbone” of open source software
and government architectures that can lay the foundation for GAIN and spur commercial tools,
infrastructure, services and architectures that will build on the foundation provided by the backbone. This
backbone can be provided by a joint effort of government, industry, standards organizations, and
Enabling transformation of government and industry
Transforming government to be more open and efficient, our military to adapt to a changing world and
our industrial capacity to be more competitive are enormously difficult tasks. The habits, cultures and
processes that were successful 50 years ago are holding us back in the 21st century. The world is
different, the economy is different, and technology is different. However, change is hard, very hard –
particularly in large institutions. It can be disruptive, expensive and frightening. Changes can not be
made in a vacuum, if not planned properly such change can cause more harm than good. GAIN is an
enabler to architecting change intelligently, with visibility and by federating architected plans to be
mutually supportive. GAIN is an approach to making information pervasive, visible and usable. This
federated approach to solutions is a fundamental shift from the ad-hoc, closed and stove-piped data,
architectures and plans we have today.
What the Global Architecture Integration Network Can Enable
Success in the 21st century is defined by an organization’s, communities or individual’s ability to
collaborate, to integrate, and to leverage the information, skills and resources of others. However, success
in collaboration is mitigated by a key factor – you can’t leverage what you don’t understand.
GAIN is, essentially an enabling software technology infrastructure that will allow us to better understand
what each other knows, has, can provide or can do. This crucial information is currently “locked up” in
proprietary and difficult to access artifacts – each of these artifacts is part of an organization’s or
community’s information assets. GAIN will help turn this crucial information into internet resources –
connected, linked, visible, secure and accessible. In “Web 2.0” terminology, GAIN is essentially a
“Social Cloud” for business and systems information and architectures.
Consider the following examples of where integration of information and architectures enables crucial
Example Applications of GAIN
· Financial Recovery – Where is the money going? How is it being spent? What effects should we
expect and are we getting them? Providing this kind of visibility requires integrating information
from disparate sources with different objectives and different ways to understand and account for
funds. What the recovery program needs is architecture – one that embraces the architecture for
how we are going to stimulate the economy and how we are going to measure the results. This
simply can’t be done in a monolithic way; it has to be a federation of architectures across
government and financial institutions, of information and of metrics. GAIN can provide the
backbone for financial recovery information and for making the national investment visible.
· Healthcare – improving healthcare in the United States and making it pervasively available to
everyone is now recognized as a national imperative. The architecture of the healthcare system
level of collaboration and integration between healthcare providers, consumers, product vendors,
insurance companies and government. Making this transformation without a coherent
architecture of healthcare and healthcare information would not be possible, but a monolithic
government solution is impractical – the ability to federate these diverse resources, needs and
viewpoints, making them work together without being overly prescriptive is a crucial enabler.
GAIN can help healthcare transform into a more effective community.
· Joint forces – joint forces, networked and integrated, provide for more effective projection of
power and political stability as we work with our partners to fight terrorism and aggressive rogue
nations. But, joining forces is hard – it is hard because we have different goals, cultures,
command languages, strategies and technologies. The architecture of the force provides the basic
information needed to collaborate – to integrate key systems and coordinate complex campaigns.
Effective defense depends on information – information is a strategic advantage of our armed
forces. By making that information more connected and available our forces will be even more
effective. The mechanisms for joining forces are currently ad-hoc and unreliable. Understanding
the forces and their capabilities is key to joining those forces in battle.
· Terrorist information integration – information to protect America comes from a wide variety
of sources and is vital to a wide variety of information consumers. Developing and sharing this
information requires collaboration across agencies within and outside of our boarders. The
shared and federated architecture of terrorist information and supporting collaborative processes
is vital to getting the right information to the right people so that action can be taken quickly and
decisively. Understanding these federated information resources and processes can be enabled
Kinds of Networked Architectures
While the above are examples of what GAIN can be used for the following are examples of the kind of
information that could be shared and federated across the architecture network.
· Data integration – it is now well understood how integration and sharing of data is crucial for
national defense, profitable businesses and effective government. Before you can share data you
have to understand what data is available, what terminology is used, the authority required to
access it and its structure. Data architectures are pervasive but disconnected; enabling a network
of data architectures enables better data integration. Within the government the “Data Reference
Model” initiative of the OMB has started to provide a foundation for federated data architectures,
GAIN would take that work further to a deployed, open and federated infrastructure, integrated
with industry standards and tools.
· Consolidation of services – Government and commercial organizations alike depend on the
services of others. The ability to use the services that result from the core competencies and
investments of other organizations allows each organization to be more focused and more
effective. The government wastes billions of dollars redundantly reproducing services that would
be best provided by someone else. Since these redundant capabilities are often not part of the
organizations focus they are ineffectively managed and delivered – often inferior to alternatives
that cost less. The “line of business” (LOB) consolidation currently recommended by the OMB
is an example of service consolidation. However, understanding the services available and what
would be required to integrate those services into the enterprise can be a difficult and error prone
task. Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) has become recognized as a key enabler of joining
both businesses and systems using services. By understanding the architecture of the services
offered by others and how they relate to the needs of the organization we can more effectively use
services and consolidate capabilities. By understanding the information of service interchange
we can communicate effectively.
· Process integration – Business, government, technical and military processes are, by their
nature, interdependent. As organizations collaborate they frequently need to better understand
and integrate with each others processes. Advances in “business process management” (BPM)
over the last decade have provided benefits within organizations as they improve their processes
but have done little to leverage cross-functional process for the same reasons as our other
examples; we don’t have the mechanisms to find, use and leverage each others processes.
Process architectures that are open and accessible allow our providers, consumers and
collaborators to better understand how we work so they can more effectively work with us.
Processes are just another kind of information that needs to be integrated.
· Integration of architecture standards and tools – there are currently a variety of architecture
and modeling standards and tools from both government and industry. These are known by a
sea of acronyms including the FEA, DoDAF, UML, MDA, BPM, HLA and the semantic web.
What has happened is that each of these has become insular and stove piped such that information
is not effectively shared within or between organizations or industries. Information becomes
“trapped” in tools or is presented in forms that are hard to manage or integrate – such as large text
documents. GAIN can provide a foundation for the integration of the information trapped in
these stovepipes, making it universally available and connected on the internet.
· Cyber Security – Security in I.T. systems must bring together policy, systems management, trust
management, threat analysis and technology to thwart an increasingly sophisticated threat. GAIN
can help integrate this diverse information to better design, implement and manage a secure
· Metrics – metrics provides us with the way to measure the effectiveness of our plans. Without
metrics our plans are wishful thinking about what may happen or unsupported conjecture about
what has happened. We have to architect how to measure results and how to connect those
results to our goals. Considering that this information comes from a variety of sources and is
consumed for a variety of purposes, metrics needs to be federated and integrated.
· Enterprise, segment and technology architectures – Every agency, department and
organization wants to consider itself “the enterprise” – independent of the rest of the world. But
every enterprise is part of the greater enterprise and every enterprise has parts – each wanting
some independence. So understanding an enterprise is by its nature a federation – a federation
that includes the enterprise “above” the enterprise segments “below” and the supply chains it
works with. The national Architecture Network is this federation – a federation at the national
level but one than can reach down to each agency, department and project in the government
sector or each company, organization, department and system in the private sector.
Of course the GAIN backbone can not instantly transform all existing information and achieve all of the
above benefits over night, what it can do is provide the backbone enabling technologies, core information
vocabularies, architectures and initiatives that, like the internet backbone, can organically grow in scope
and power as more and more information & architectures sources are “plugged together” across the
network. It is a tool for transformation and enabling change. What we can do now, right now, is put this
backbone in place – not with new wires and network switches, we have those, but with open software,
open standards and a national community focused on collaboration and integration at all levels of industry
and government. The net effect will be jobs in the short term, more effective government, visibility, more
efficient businesses, an ecosystem of products and services and continued leadership in internet
Understanding the need for something like GAIN needs to be put in context of how information &
architectures are integrated today. Today “files” that may be spreadsheets, documents, models, diagrams
or XML are sent in emails or sometimes posted on the web. Each of these files is a little “stovepipe” of
information that is not connected or easily integrated. In many cases the information has to be manually
transcribed into a consumer’s favorite tool or format. This is expensive, error prone and discourages
sharing the information. GAIN, by contrast, would allow for information to be immediately accessible
and easily integrated into the consumer’s web pages, applications, modeling tools, plans or analysis by
linking the data across the internet. One exciting possibility is that GAIN could leverage “crowd
sourcing” by having some information updated in a wiki-like community.
The GAIN initiative is not intended as a research project or replacement for current technologies, but to
extend and integrate technologies, standards and information – building on existing infrastructure,
projects and software. The internet is the critical connectivity platform for GAIN and can be used as-is.
GAIN will also leverage existing and emerging standards, particularly those from the OMG1 and W3C2.
In addition, open source technologies available from reliable sources such as Apache3, Eclipse4 and CodePlex5 can be used to build the technology support for GAIN. To make it open and pervasive all
software developed under GAIN will be open source and freely available for both government and
industry to use and build on.
GAIN should enable a “Data Cloud” for users and publishers of information, globally, to publish,
analyze, reference and participate in the evolution of raw data, architectures and vocabularies. A core
concept is “Shared Concept Hubs”. A shared concept hub allows information to be grounded in one or
more hubs without requiring a “one size fits all” global vocabulary. These hubs are the cornerstone for
It is not the intent of this document to detail the technical approach but some of the technologies and
standard that are expected to be considered for integration into the GAIN backbone are:, Model Driven
Architecture® ii, Semantic Web / Open Linked Data, Unified Modeling Language ™ , Service Oriented
Architecture, DoDAF, Federal Enterprise Architecture, Data Reference Model, ISO 11179, BPM, SQL,
RDF, OWL, Meta Object Facility, Linked Data, XML, Web Services, XBRL, OpenSocial, RSS, ATOM,
Of particular interest is the use of “Open Linked Data” and the “Semantic Web” as the data model for
GAIN. This is a standard web-based data format that allows data of various kinds, vocabularies, sources,
semantics and authors to be federated, queried and analyzed. It is based on the “Resource Description
Framework” (RDF) – a very open and general way to publish data. There are existing standards as well as
open source and commercial implementations of these technologies.
While the GAIN backbone is intended to be open source, it is fully expected that commercial products as
well as open source technologies will build on, extend and integrate with the backbone – helping to create
industrial opportunities worldwide.
GAIN Healthcare Architecture Network
Mission and Goals
The mission of the Healthcare Architecture Network (HAN) is to create open-standards for healthcare
information and architectures and to embody those standards in open-source software. These open
standards and supporting software will provide healthcare IT professionals with design patterns, source
code, and implementation guidelines that help them to provide safe, interoperable, accurate, and reliable
communications among disparate healthcare systems and services. The program’s principle goals are
· Provide architecture standards for clinical information acquisition, retention, and transmission
· Deliver architecture standards for secure, robust, and reliable healthcare systems infrastructure
· Support open-source communities to build the backbone of software and services that embody the
information and systems architecture
HAN will accomplish its mission by organizing teams of its experts to create healthcare information and
systems architecture standards and open-source software. Team members also will provide leadership in
healthcare software and architecture standards organizations and open-source software communities.
National Architecture Network
HAN is a program of the Global Architecture Information Network (GAIN) at (www.GAINInitiative.net).
Their mission is to create a “network of information and architecturesii” to federate government, not-forprofit,
and commercial firms’ processes, services, data, and plans. The imperatives for greater
collaboration and integration are more effective government, more profitable business, visibility, and
leadership. Collaboration, integration and information visibility are cornerstones of many initiatives from
economic recovery to fighting terrorism.
An enabler of GAIN is a “backbone” of open source software and government architectures. These
foundation elements will support commercial tools, infrastructure, services, and architectures. The
backbone will become a joint effort of government, industry, standards organizations, and universities.
Enabling Health Networks Globally
Governments around the world are building national health networks (e.g., the US Nationwide Health
Information Network, Canada Health Infoway, the UK’s National Programme for IT (NPfIT), and
Australia’s HealthConnect). These programs spawned numerous standards groups and lucrative contracts
for IT services firms. Politicians, citizen groups, and healthcare industry groups recognize a strong desire
for an integrated, electronic, health information for citizens. Many organizations documented excessive
costs and errors with prevailing paper-based systems prompting demand for electronic-based health
records (EHRs). Unfortunately, the problems associated with integrating proprietary data and applications
are legion as noted by the openEHR Foundation’s in their paper, “openEHR Primer”. Additionally, EHRs
are no panacea according to Drexel University’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Scott M. Silverstein,
M.D. who chronicles some of the issues in his blog, “Contemporary Issues in Medical Informatics:
Common Examples of Healthcare IT Failure”. A number of groups now exist to promote effective EHRs,
some are standards organizations like Health Level 7 (HL7), others open-source software communities
like Open Health Tools. Many proprietary solutions also exist, for example Epic, Siemens, IBM, and GEHealthcare. EMR (EHR) and HIPAA offers a blog with 400 software vendors and they provide a Wiki matrix with links to electronic medical records (EMR) software providers.
Issues and Opportunities
Many organizations develop standards and EHR software, both open-source and proprietary. A few
organizations see their mission as providing for services integration. One of these is the Healthcare
Services Specification Project (HSSP), a collaboration among the Object Management Group (OMG),
Eclipse, and HL7. A number interoperability concerns remain for healthcare. These include:
· Mapping semantic data reliably from one system to another and one message format to another
· Architectures for managing an ever growing and increasingly complicated medical lexicon
· Real-time integration of source information without moving data from sources into sinks
· End-to-end information security and privacy architecture
o Identity management issues (e.g., variations among laws concerning patient anonymity)
o Separation of concerns (SoC) to correctly distinguish medical from administrative issues
and to protect information appropriately to the situation
o Security protection via weakest link detection and remediation
o Support for variable levels of protection for data at rest and in transit
· Application programming interfaces (APIs) assertion and mediation for services (i.e., in a service
oriented architecture [SOA] environment)
· Normalized data model for EHR for various clinical settings and practitioner’s requirements
· Standards for user interface design to assure consistent data entry and data visualization
· System and application integration architectures and design patterns to reliably connect medical
devices and IT systems
Many other issues and opportunities exist that the HAN community with catalogued and consider in its
deliberations and working sessions.
HAN can be used for the following are examples of the kind of information that could be shared and
federated across the architecture network.
· Data integration – Nations understand that producing, integrating, and safely sharing health
information will improve medical services and reduce healthcare costs. Data sharing requires
knowledge of this information:
o Consistent understanding of the data that is available in a system
o Meaning of data in a system (i.e., the semantic value of the data)
o Context for which data exists (e.g., administration for insurance claims or medical
o Authority required for data access
o Protocol or structure for data emitted by a system (i.e., data syntax – extensible mark-up
language [XML], fixed length fields; or tag, length, value [TLV]).
· Services – Healthcare organizations depend on others for many of the medical and administrative
services that they provide to their patients. Unfortunately, healthcare providers and administration
environment as so fragmented that IT organizations waste billions of dollars reproducing data and
IT services that others may already provide for them. Many organizations do not even realize that
services exist (i.e., services as defined for a SOA environment). This includes laboratory data
management, image management, and insurance claims processing. Because availability, usecases,
APIs, and capabilities of services remain poorly described and even less well understood,
these services are rarely used. Instead, healthcare IT organizations rely on internally produced
services or services defined by commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems. These capabilities
create redundancies in costs and data instead of the alternatives that cost less and reuse data.
However, understanding which services are available and what would be required to integrate
those services into a healthcare provider is difficult and error prone. Although IT organizations
and their suppliers recognize SOA as an enabler of lower cost and higher reliability systems, the
consistent use and understanding of architecture of available services, and how these relate to a
healthcare institution’s requirements, demands specialized architecture, design and development.
· Processes – Healthcare institutions, medical services providers, insurers, and governments, are
interdependent. As these organizations collaborate they frequently need to better understand and
integrate with one another’s processes. Advances in “business process management” (BPM) have
improved efficiency of processes but little has been done to leverage cross-functional activities.
The reason is the same as that for services and data. There are no mechanisms to find, use and
leverage processes belonging to others although others want to share their processes. Process
architectures that are open and accessible allow providers, insurers, and governments to better
understand how each other works so they can more efficiently and effectively work together.
· Tools – There are many architecture and modeling tools available to healthcare organizations.
More are being developed in response to recent government mandates to deploy and integrate
EHRs. Many acronyms serve to describe some of these tools and related architecture like HL7,
UML, MDA, BPM, HIPAA, and RDF. Many of the related standards and architectures of the
tools are insular so organizations are unable to share information although tools and architectures
claim to support “standards”. This creates a situation where information is “trapped” inside tools
or takes forms that are hard to manage or integrate.
· Security – Security and privacy for health I.T. systems is a paramount concern yet standards and
architectures often conflict with one another. These conflicts lead to vulnerabilities that increase
attack surfaces for exploitation by hackers. Work is required to bring policy, systems
management, trust management, threat analysis, and architectures together to thwart increasingly
High Level Business Architecture
High Level Business Architecture for the GAIN Community
GAIN is, foremost, a community – a community of people and organizations working together to
better integrate their information & architectures including, processes and services. This
community is enabled by the GAIN network of information, architectures and vocabularies
supported by “nodes” in the GAIN federation. The GAIN community both develops and
leverages these assets.
The GAIN Initiative
This community is open and inclusive; it costs nothing to be part of the GAIN community. The
“GAIN Initiative” is the organizer for the GAIN community – the initiative helps the community
grow and meet its objectives. The initiative also provides for common GAIN resources, such as
GAIN registries, reference implementations and core resources.
The GAIN initiative has offices for managing the community, managing the technology and
managing core vocabularies and architectures. The core technologies and resources are reviewed
by an architecture review board as a vetting process, prior to being published as core resources.
All assets of the GAIN initiative are open, freely available and standards based
The GAIN initiative organizational structure includes:
· Program Management – Business management of the initiative
· Community management – responsible for supporting and encouraging the GAIN
community which includes information suppliers, consumers and technology providers.
o Marketplace Awareness – marketing for the initiative4 and community
o Registration – maintaining the identity of community members, in particular
those publishing context
o Credentialing – establishing and maintaining the credentials of authorities
· Resource Management – Resources are the “content” of GAIN. Resource management
maintains the core GAIN resources, supports other contributors and maintains the
o Architecture Board – the architecture board manages consistency and federation
across the Core GAIN resources and those of authorities.
o Core Resource4 Definition – the core resource definition team will create and
maintain the core vocabularies and architectures used to define GAIN
· Technology Development – technology development produces, supports and maintains
the open source technologies for the GAIN nodes and any complementary technology.
o GAIN Node development – develops the core GAIN repository
o User experience – creates “views” of the repository tuned to specific kinds of
o Hosted resources – Manages the systems hosted by GAIN which manage the and
expose the core resources.
· Finance – manages the GAIN initiative’s finances and accounting
A GAIN publisher is an individual or organization that publishes information, vocabularies
and/or architectures for use by others. Publishing a resource does not necessarily imply that it is
accepted or trusted by anyone else – that is a decision made by a user based on the reputation and
credentials of the publisher. A GAIN publisher may optionally register their GAIN resources with
the GAIN initiative so that others may utilize and integrate with their resources. Alternatively, a
GAIN resource may be restricted to a closed community for security purposes. While resources
may come from a variety of sources, GAIN resources are published on GAIN nodes managed by
Certain GAIN publishers are designated as authorities for a specific domain. An authority is a
recognized expert that manages and publishes reference information, architectures and
vocabularies for a domain with the intent that these architectures and vocabularies can then be
used as the basis for integration and sharing of information. A GAIN authority has a specific
agreement with the GAIN initiative that governs the integrity of reference architectures and
vocabularies by specifying the standards and methods for creating and managing them. Part of
the authority’s process is to integrate their resources with those of other authorities in the
federation. Due to these standards and methods GAIN authorities are expected to be widely
trusted and referenced. The GAIN initiative provides the credentials to validate GAIN authorities.
GAIN authorities are typically government, standards, academic or industry organizations that are
trusted and unbiased within their domain.
The GAIN initiative is the authority for certain core resources that are used to define all the other
GAIN resources – essentially the architecture and vocabulary of GAIN it’s self.
A GAIN contributor provides content for GAIN information, architectures and vocabularies,
building on the information, architectures and vocabularies of others. GAIN contributors operate
through a GAIN host to provide data & vocabulary entries and architectural definitions which
may, ultimately, be published. The philosophy of GAIN is that anyone can contribute content
and anyone may use such content, restricted only by security measures. Such open content
contribution fosters a rich and diverse ecosystem.
While anyone may be able to contribute content, such content may or may not be accepted or
trusted by others. GAIN publishers manage their vocabularies and architectures and as such
decide what content is included in their publications. While an individual may publish their own
content, GAIN authorities and other recognized publishers will be more trusted and used as
integration hubs for a wide variety of information.
GAIN users use and/or create information & architectures that are “grounded” in the concepts
defined in published GAIN resources. GAIN users are then able to enjoy better integration of
information, processes, structures and other shared resources. Some of these capabilities will be
provided by free GAIN resources available to anyone. Expanded capabilities, that leverage these
grounded architectures, will be available from GAIN providers. Users will also be able to take
existing architectures, data or process definitions or other models and ground them, thus making
them a part of the GAIN network. Since the community of GAIN contributors, publishers and
users is open – the community can grow organically while being managed rationally.
GAIN Hosts and Nodes
A GAIN host is an organization that manages GAIN nodes – a GAIN node provides internet
access to the GAIN network and can host published information, architectures and vocabularies
meaningful to the host or users of that host. Any organization may be a GAIN host and may
utilize the free resources of the GAIN initiative to implement GAIN nodes. A reference
implementation of GAIN nodes will be available to hosting providers – however other
implementations of a GAIN node may be used, as long as they implement and validate the GAIN
standard interfaces. The GAIN network is, essentially a web of GAIN nodes, managed by hosts,
connected across the internet which use and publish vocabularies and architectures. It is expected
that many GAIN nodes will be free and open – one such node will be hosted by the GAIN
The GAIN initiative manages the “backbone” of the architecture network, it is fully expected that
various commercial and open source products and services will “plug into” that network to
provide added value. This added value could be products and services to help integrate
architectures with GAIN, formalize or normalize architectures, analyze interconnected
information or to leverage the information in GAIN to help achieve integration of organizations
and/or systems. GAIN providers are the “supplier” part of the GAIN community. GAIN
suppliers may be registered and listed with the GAIN initiative, subject to a provider agreement.
High Level Technical Architecture
The Global Architecture & Information Network (GAIN for short) is an initiative to enable more
effective government, business opportunities, transparent government and job creation by
building on and extending the U.S. leadership success in the internet combined with open source
software and industry standards.
The GAIN architecture is developed based on our foundation principles and goals.
Diversity and Federation
Information is to be derived from multiple sources where segments of the information is under
control of different authorities. Architectures are, in this sense, just a kind of information to be
managed – but special in that some architectures define the data its self. GAIN helps to federate
these segments and provide support for integration without requiring centralization. This implies:
· Different names may be used for the same thing
· Data schema are a kind of architecture
· Architectures are a kind of data
· The same name may mean different things in different context
· There will be multiple views and viewpoints about any subject
· There will be multiple views and viewpoints about a subject
· The different viewpoints and authorities may not agree
· The source and authority of information is important
· There will be different ways to model and understand the same things
· There will be different ways to categorize, organize and type the same things
· Architectures change and evolve as understanding and consensus evolves
· Knowledge is incomplete
Integration and Dependencies
Information, people, organizations and systems are interdependent. Being able to collaborate and
make use of each others information, resources, services and capabilities is essential.
Interdependence with diversity is what GAIN can help facilitate, but this also implies:
· There are no “independent domains” – the concept of a domain of interest that is fully
independent doesn’t exist. The separation we make between domains, organizations and
systems can be artificial and porous. Understanding these dependencies allows us to
· There is a necessary balance between “separation of concerns” and “integration” – both
must be allowed for.
· Change is inevitable, and change in areas we are dependent on causes us to change.
Understanding these changes and dependencies is crucial in a connected world.
Information for the common man
Information, including architectures, are in support of common process, jobs, information and
services. As such every-day participants in our organizations need to be able to understand and
contribute to our architectures. Architectures enable people, organizations and systems to work
Standards are crucial for integration, particularly for technology integration. However, standards
overlap and can be inconsistent. GAIN must support multiple standards and provide support for
those standards as they change over time. GAIN should commit to being able to “map” (or
project) architectures into these various standards and utilize their exchange formats.
Open process and assets
To support a pervasive community for creating, sharing and using federated information the
“backbone” that supports this community must be open and freely available. This means open
standards, open processes and open implementations. The community must also be open to
commercial products and services that build on and leverage this open foundation.
Semantic Grounding and Ontologies
Interoperability and collaboration will be derived from common understanding of concepts based
on their semantics, not structure. The GAIN vocabularies and architectures should be
semantically sound and rich without requiring formal logical training for users or those defining
concepts. Some concepts, particularly those in the core of GAIN will require a higher degree of
semantic grounding using formal Ontologies. Publishers will decide how much and what type of
formality is required in the definition of their resources and users can use this as a basis for which
resources to trust. GAIN should support multiple ontology languages to formally define
The GAIN foundation can not be a closed system. New vocabularies, resources, capabilities and
tools should be able to extend GAIN. Extension should be open and not reserved for a privileged
No one truth
While there are hubs of shared concepts, there is no single set of concepts on which we can get
universal agreement. GAIN allows for multiple hubs to grow over time. Users will decide which
hubs they embrace and provide them value. GAIN should provide for integration of hubs so that,
where practical, they can merge over time.
Build on our legacy
GAIN can’t be another island, it has to build on and embrace resources, technologies and
standards we have.
GAIN vocabularies should define concepts to the extent required for common understanding but
should not over-specify those concepts. Particular tools and standards may have more concepts
and more specific concepts than those shared through GAIN.
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