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Truly unclear information

 
Marcel Dullaart
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Hi all,

I am not sure if my question is an allowed question, if not please accept my apologies.

Here it goes:
I am working on SCEA part II and ran into an issue about an unclear step in the basic flow of events of my main use case.
It says system responds with the selected flights priced and alternative flights if less than selected.

Does this mean lower in price or shorter in time, or what else?
Both these options seem invalid to me.

Thanks in advance,
Marcel
 
Marcus Jastrebowski
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Hi Marcel,
Don't know if you found the answer yet. I have also found that statement ambiguous (I presume this is all done intentionally by Sun). But the good news is I found good discussion and clarification in this old thread.
 
Marcel Dullaart
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Thank you Markus,

No I didn't find the answer yet, and frankly I still don't.
This 'old' (is it old september 2007?) thread still doesn't take away the unclear information about the price. The interview mentions the simple pricing scheme, a flat price per destination, so how can I have cheaper flights for the same destination?
That's mostly why I am confused .

Anyway thanks again for pointing out that 'old' thread, and talking the time to help me out.

Marcel
 
Marcus Jastrebowski
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Yep. I can see the dilemma. I have just been thinking about it myself, and here is my attempt to analyze and reconcile the seemingly conflicting or ambiguous requirements.

1. CEO/CIO interview says the following: flat prices per destination and per class.
2. But the Use Case to Price Itinerary says the following: price each segment of the itinerary and add the prices together to come up with the cost.

These two conflict! The problem I think is the imprecise vernacular used by the two sources of information. Number one says 'destination' and number two 'segment'. I tell you the way functional requirements are elicited is more an art than a science and almost always requires many follow-ups... which we cannot do here. Myself, I am going to assume in my analysis that the CEO really meant to say 'segment' when he blurted out 'destination'. My feeling is that the use case documentation (number 2) is slightly more strict and trumps the interview which seems to me a rather loosy-goosy single exchange... I would also think that the "Business Analyst" (presumably a specialist in the field) must have done many of such interviews before writing the use case, so it should be more accurate.

To sum up, I assume that each segment indeed has a flat price, but not necessarily the final destinations (unless it comprises just one segment). Without making this assumption, I cannot see how I can submit the part II -- and I really would like to do that.

Let me know if my thinking makes sense to you, or not.
 
Marcel Dullaart
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It feels good to be able to discuss about this, thanks for that.
I do think that your remark makes sense, but...
It means that a chosen flight can consist of one or more segments, this contradicts the conclusion from another thread, I just noticed you've answered there as well

Assuming that a direct flight means shorter in distance, it most likely will be cheaper as well. If a flight consists of two segments, which means a stop at an intermediary airfield and be more expensive. If I was a customer...

But its getting late here in Europe, the bell tolls at 6AM tomorrow morning so I'll finish for now and think it over again.

Thanks again, I'll get back about this later.

Cheers,
Marcel
 
Marcus Jastrebowski
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I agree, it is very good to discuss the problem domain, as long as Andrew doesn't jump in and cuts down on all the fun. But I think we are still good.

Anyway, the more I read and think about Part II, the more I see that they (Sun) have purposefully introduced a lot of ambiguity, uncertainty and incompleteness into the assignment. All we can do now is assume, assume, assume. Then justify. In my mind, I have decided to prioritize certain conflicting information in the following way (from highest to lowest):
(1) The Diagrams: Business Domain Model and Use Case Diagram.
(2) Four detailed use case descriptions.
(3) Interview with CEO/CIO.
I am not saying that I am going to disregard what the two big kahunas are saying. But I am going to look at that interview with a grain of salt in the eye. Of course I might be completely wrong, so be it.

Cheers!
 
Andrew Monkhouse
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Originally posted by Marcus Jastrebowski:
I agree, it is very good to discuss the problem domain, as long as Andrew doesn't jump in and cuts down on all the fun. But I think we are still good.
No problems. Discussion of the assignment domain is fine. It is only discussions of solutions that are disallowed.

Regards, Andrew
 
Marcel Dullaart
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Thanks Andrew I already had that impression from the thread about flight vs segment. We just need to take care we don't cross that border, 'cause its so easy to do that ;-)

Markus,
Another option that I am thinking of takes the seat class into account. One could assume that the selected flight shows the price based on business class seats, while the alternative can show the price for economy class.

I think you're right about making the assumptions and sticking to it. I'll pick my choice today and tomorrow, document it and try to stick to it.
Its a bit off a shame that I hardly ever fly, let alone book my flights online :roll:

Cheers and succes with your assignment,
Marcel
 
Marcus Jastrebowski
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Good point about the class. The 'Price Itinerary' use case is woefully incomplete in a sense that it does not explicitly state that the pricing model is also based on classes. In fact not a single use case mentions anything about the class concept anywhere (a major omission!). Only in the interview w/CEO/CIO, we learn that these 2 service classes exist: "first class" and "coach". As you correctly said, extending the business domain model, a class must be associated with a seat 1-to-1 (an assumption based on common knowledge, not stated explicitly in req's).

Personally, I am thinking I would not try to complicate our analysis by injecting the class pricing into that unfortunate muddled statement that started this thread. But if you look at the the basic flow of Prepare Itinerary use case, the first sentence should have had the customer selecting the class -- together with all the other things (departure city, time, date, etc.). Again, my assumption here must be based purely on a common-sense domain knowledge and the end-user reasonable expectations of online ticket reservation systems. So, once the user initially selects the class (and all the other options), the system should only build, and display, the itinerary based on these initial customer choices.

Hey, do not worry about not flying planes! You are lucky in Europe you guys have outstanding and efficient inter-city train transportation system (in US there's nothing like that). And much of "train-to-plane" reservation system concepts should be quite portable, I think.

Cheers!
M
 
Marcus Jastrebowski
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As I'm thinking out loud and talking to myself , I can see one more twist to this analysis. The CEO said in the interview they had four turbojets. Implicitly, these are usually smaller cramped airplanes, and it is very unlikely that anybody would offer first class seatings on such planes. As a consequence, a particular Equipment on a particular Flight (looking at the Business Domain Model diagram again), may or may not have two classes. Some Equipment must have only the "coach" class. It depends I guess.
 
Marcel Dullaart
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Good point!
Although sometimes these smaller aircrafts, projets like the Fokker F50 for instance, are used for business class only instead. But there definitly is the possibility that certain flights only provide one type of seat and no other.

Again good point.
Cheers,
Marcel

BTW We usually travel by car, next week saterday we've plannde a 1200km drive to austria for a week in the snow
 
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