The Pragmatic Quality of Resources-Events-Agents Diagrams: An Experimental Evaluation
The Resources-Events-Agents (REA) model is a semantic data model for the development and integration of conceptual schemas of accounting information systems. Although in the Accounting Information Systems literature, the REA model is proposed as a benchmark against which to evaluate newly proposed accounting data models, only few studies have been undertaken to empirically validate the claimed benefits of REA modeling. Moreover, these studies focused on REA-based accounting system implementations and not on problem space representations. The work presented in this paper addresses this gap. Starting from theoretical frameworks for conceptual model quality and method evaluation in the IS field, and from previous research on comparative analysis of data modeling formalisms, a laboratory experiment was organized to evaluate the understanding of diagrammatic conceptual schemas that are developed using the REA model. The experimental results indicate that the REA modeling of accounting systems is effective in terms of the accuracy of understanding. On the other hand, little support was found for its efficiency in terms of faster comprehension of schemas that are developed according to the REA model.
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