SEAS Situation Description Viewer/Editor

SEAS Help System
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Introduction: About Getting Started How To
Topics: Concepts Template Style Guide Frequently Asked Questions
Viewers: Manager Publication Information Situation Information
Multi. Arg. Uni. Arg. Derivative Question Uni. Arg. Primitive Question
Multi. Tmp. Uni. Tmp. Derivative Question Uni. Tmp. Primitive Question
Table Viewer Summary Viewer Memos
Collection Manager Collection Viewers Merging Tool
Glossary: Buttons Symbols Terms

Situation Description Viewer/Editor

TIP: Click on the buttons and symbols in the images to view the corresponding glossary entries.

The Situation Descriptor Viewer/Editor manages the situation descriptors that are associated with every argument and template. Here the Situation Descriptor Viewer/Editor depicts the situation descriptor associated with a multi-dimensional argument (i.e., IRAQ-99). The "Unpublished Template" symbol (top right) indicates that neither this argument nor its underlying template are published; the absence of a "READ ONLY" symbol indicates that you can modify this argument's situation descriptor. See the Publishing section for an in-depth review of its meaning in SEAS.

Situation Descriptors

A Situation Descriptor describes what an argument or template is about: who is the Actor under discussion, what sort of Event is under discussion, where (i.e., Region) or when the situation occurs (i.e., Time Interval) , and the Perspective from which the situation is being analyzed. In the case of a template, the descriptor indicates how a template is intended to be used: for situations in a certain Region of the world, or to analyze a particular type of Actor, or a particular type of Event. In the case of an argument, the descriptor indicates what an argument is about: the Actor analyzed, the precise Event, where or when the situation under analysis occurred. Some of the situation descriptor slots can only be filled by selections from a predefined set of terms (i.e., those preceded by a Discovery button) while others are filled with free-form text (i.e., those not preceded by a Discovery button). The fixed slots are the primary basis for retrieval: they constitute the equivalent of a library "card catalog" but for indexing and retrieving arguments and templates. While the fixed slots might only approximate the true nature of the situation, the free-form slots provide a means to more precisely describe the situation. Using the SEAS Object Manager, the fixed slots are first exploited to retrieve potentially relevant arguments and templates, then the free-form slots are examined to make the final determination of relevance. To get the most out of SEAS corporate memory, the you need to fill in the situation descriptors as fully as practical.


The buttons on the toolbar are used to ok any modifications made to the situation descriptor before they are saved or to cancel this Viewer/Editor. The first button at the right end of the toolbar invokes the Situation Descriptor Viewer/Editor on the publication information for the template that underlies this argument; the second button invokes this help system.

Filling Situation Descriptor Slots

Unless you are limited to "READ ONLY" access (see Publishing), the situation descriptor slots not preceded by a Discovery button can be directly filled by typing and those preceded by a Discovery button can be filled with the aid of a browser. The browser is invoked by pushing the associated Discovery button. So doing guarantees that it is filled with an allowable term. The adjacent Trash buttons remove the entry from the corresponding field. No modification are made until the ok button is pushed; if any of the fixed slots are filled with unknown terms, then no modifications are made. If the cancel button is pushed without first pushing the ok button, the modifications are lost.

Component Publication Information

The lower portion of this display lists this multi-dimensional argument's Component arguments along with their situation Perspective and Actor. If any of these components are unpublished, an Unpublished symbol is displayed at their right.

Here the Situation Descriptor Viewer/Editor depicts the situation descriptor for a published, uni-dimensional argument (i.e., ECONOMIC.IRAQ-99).


The Situation Descriptor Viewer/Editor works analogously on templates as it does on arguments.

Published Argument and Templates

When the Situation Descriptor Viewer/Editor is invoked on a published argument or template, a "READ ONLY" symbol appears at the top right, the save, publish, and Discovery buttons do not appear, and the situation descriptor slots are not editable. The Components are listed along with their situation Perspective and Actor.

SEAS and High SEAS 7.1 - Patent Pending and Unpublished Copyright © 1998-2007, SRI International