Computer Science (COMP) 638

Enterprise Modeling (Revision 3)

COMP 638

Delivery Mode: Grouped Study Online (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: IS Core

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Centre: School of Computing and Information Systems

Instructor: Dr. Qing (Ching) Tan

**Note:  This is a graduate level course and students need to apply and be approved to one of the graduate programs or as a non-program School of Computing and Information Systems graduate student in order to take this course.  Minimum admission requirements must be met.  Undergraduate students who do not meet admission requirements will not normally be permitted to take this course.


The goal of enterprise modelling (EM) is to provide a computational representation of the structure, activities, processes, information, resources, people, behavior, goals, and constraints of an enterprise, whether it is in business, government, or any other organization. The role of a model is to improve the design, analysis, and operation of an enterprise. EM can help users to better understand and explain the enterprise, simulate and predict its performances under different scenarios, and operate and control the enterprise to achieve its best possible performance. EM can also be used to determine the impact of change on all parts of the enterprise.

COMP 638 provides the knowledge essential to every industrial engineer and postgraduate student to meet industry EM requirements. Beginning with basic definitions and principles, the course focuses on the most representative EM approaches from the functional, information, resource, and organizational points of view. It introduces Unified Modelling Language (UML), an object-orientated modelling language for business process representation and reengineering. It concludes with a look at advanced EM research issues.

Course Objectives

The main objectives of COMP 638 are to

  • introduce the fundamental aspects and basic modelling techniques of EM.
  • provide graduate students in MSc Information Systems with comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of EM principles and methodologies for modelling large, complex, and adaptable enterprise systems.
  • lead students into the frontier areas of EM by providing a sufficient foundation to explore enterprise engineering from an information systems perspective.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete COMP 638 should be able to

  • define the scope of EM.
  • outline the principles and processes in EM.
  • use the most representative approaches to design, analyze, and model enterprise systems.
  • use UML to represent and model enterprise processes.
  • recognize advanced research issues and the trends in EM and its applications.
  • effectively communicate course work in writing and oral presentation.


Unit 1: Introduction to Enterprise Modelling
This unit

  • introduces the basic concepts and principles of EM.
  • discusses industry challenges and business trends that drive the need for EM.
  • discusses the most representative approaches to EM.
  • introduces EM evaluation.

Unit 2: Aspects of Enterprise Modelling
This unit

  • presents the most common methods used to model different aspects of an enterprise, including functional, information, resource, and organizational.
  • provides the basic approaches used in EM.
  • discusses aspect modelling from various perspectives.

Unit 3: UML for Enterprise Modelling
This unit

  • introduces UML as an EM tool for students to taste enterprise modelling in real-life practice. Students are asked to follow the textbook, UML for the IT Business Analyst, to learn the standards, artifacts, and techniques of UML from an IT business analyst’s perspective.

Unit 4: UML for Enterprise Case Study
This unit

  • each study group will work on a case study using UML standards and/or EM approaches such as aspect modelling. Each study group is asked to select or create one real-world case, to write the case description, and to develop at least one model for a case study.

Unit 5: Enterprise Modelling Research
This unit

  • students will conduct research on a selected advanced EM research topic with their study group. Through their research, students will discover, recognize, and experience advanced issues and trends in EM and its applications.


To receive credit for COMP 638, you must achieve a cumulative course grade of B- (70 percent) or better. Your cumulative course grade will be based on the following assessment.

Assessment Weight Due
Assignment 1: Annotated Bibliography for Unit 1 10% Week 3
Assignment 2: Annotated Bibliography for Unit 2 and Slide Presentation 20% Week 6
Assignment 3: Case Study (group activity) 20% Week 9
Assignment 4: Research Paper, Review, and Presentation (group activity) 50% Week 12

Students are expected to engage in online discussion forums. Online presentations are designed to prepare students to present research in their professional lives.

Course Materials

We will use a textbook and research articles in this course.


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Podeswa. H. (2010). UML for the IT Business (2nd ed.). Course Technology, Cengage Learning. ISBN-13: 978-1-59863-868-4

A print version of the eText may be available for purchase from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website; you can also acquire the textbook on your own if you wish.

Research Articles

Links to journal articles from professional journals and conference proceedings are provided through AU Library Services, authors’ websites, and open domain on the Internet.


Comp 638 is delivered through Athabasca University's learning management system Moodle. With the exception of the textbook, all course activities and resources will be available through the course site.

Special Note

Students registered in this course will NOT be allowed to take an extension due to the nature of the course activities.
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, December 10, 2014