Beware of the plagiarist!

Pieter Wisse, Information Dynamics

According to the published schedule for IS Seminars 2012 at University of Twente, on “Tuesday 11 December, 12.30-13.30[,] Paul Oude Luttighuis,” an employee of Novay, has given a talk titled Semantic business modelling with Essence – beyond the metamodel struggle. Here, I comment on the outline made available on the ISSE website as an announcement.

Essence is a new paradigm in business modelling.

No, it is the paradigm underlying Metapattern.

Its modelling language

No, for Essence, such a thing as “its modelling language” does not exist. The “modelling language” that Essence promotes under its ... name, is nothing but Metapattern, period. Also see In search of differences (2012).

is based on a single modelling construct.

Therefore, copying this “construct” is effectively copying Metapattern as a whole, which is precisely what Essence has done and thereby making the false claim of original work.

Despite its abstractness, it is precise and can be transformed into software.

For years, an operational software platform already exists: KnitbITs. Its existence and value has been explicitly acknowledged by ... Oude Luttighuis (!) in his capacity of independent evaluator of Metapattern; see also below.

Metapattern is developed and owned by Information Dynamics in Voorburg, The Netherlands. Information Dynamics also developed (and owns) KnitbITs.

Thanks to its abstractness, it surpasses object-oriented, relation-oriented, business rule-oriented, process-oriented and logic-oriented modelling languages in expressive power, scalability and adaptivity. The key idea is that all meaning (hence all truth) is local and determined by context.

Again, nothing new to be rightfully attributed to Essence. It has all been extensively documented long ago by Information Dynamics for Metapattern. For a popular sketch, for example see On benefiting from Metapattern (2006).

Essence is currently under development, but has been applied in practice from the outset.

What has been applied, that is, as “modelling language” is Metapattern. What seems to count as “development” for Essence, amounts to continued piracy of work developed by Information Dynamics.

More information (mostly in Dutch) can be found on

Essence plagiarizes Metapattern. Information published on that particular website and elsewhere (!) about Essence should therefore be rectified. However, despite being unable to specify any relevant difference between Metapattern and “Essence modelling language,” Essence with its participants refuses to do so.

There are multiple ways of introducing Essence,

Introducing Metapattern, that is.

such as by practical examples, or starting from the philosophy of language.

Everybody is of course most welcome to contribute. A variety of, say, approaches to Metapattern has already been developed (and documented) by Information Dynamics. So far, Essence has also not made any original contribution to introducing ... Metapattern. Anyway, whatever description of Metapattern does not make it different from Metapattern, on the contrary.

In this presentation however, we will start with popular abstractions used in (the metamodels of) modelling languages and show how they bias the modeller and restrict scalability. As an example, we will show how Essence has no upfront distinction between process and information,

I find it especially illuminating that Oude Luttighuis should now mention that “process” shares in the informational abstraction. Apparently, he has finally let my arguments (as documented, too) convince him. So, again there is nothing new here as far as Essence is concerned.

and therefore seamlessly combines semantics and pragmatics/behaviour.

At the time of his evaluation of Metapattern (for his report, in Dutch, see Contextual differentiation: inspiration from Metapattern, Appendix C in: Semantiek op stelselschaal, 2009), I have also tried very hard to get Oude Luttighuis to adopt this view. When the Standardisation Forum of the Netherlands commissioned an evaluation of Metapattern which Oude Luttighuis performed with my help, regretfully he was not ready for this insight.
By the way, Standardisation Forum had Metapattern also evaluated by Rand Institute. When I later asked the expert from Rand for his comments on In search of differences, he promptly replied: “it does appear to me that Essence is nothing more than Metapattern with a different name.”

Oude Luttighuis continues to peddle Essence, yet all he offers is demonstratedly copied from extensive work on Metapattern.

Giving his talk at University of Twente, I wonder whether or not Oude Luttighuis even mentioned Metapattern, KnitbITs, Information Dynamics et cetera. Beware of plagiarism and the plagiarist!




I have consulted the website of the Information Systems and Software Engineering (ISSE) group at University of Twente on February 5th, 2013.

In 2006 I tried to get ISSE professor Wieringa interested in Metapattern, upon his request for some paper referring him to The pattern of metapattern: ontological formalization of context and time for open interconnection (in: PrimaVera, working paper 2004-01, Amsterdam University, 2004). I have now alerted him to the plagiarism by Oude Luttighuis, requesting Wieringa to have the announcement removed from the IS Seminars 2012 webpage, to inform the seminar attendees and to abstain from involvement with Essence as long as its plagiarism of Metapattern continues.



February 5th, 2013 © Information Dynamics (Voorburg, Netherlands)



Some further publications on Metapattern (only English-language texts listed):


·         Multicontextual paradigm for object orientation: a development of information modeling toward fifth behavioral form, in: Informatiekundige ontwerpleer (Ten Hagen Stam, 1999; original essay in Dutch, 1991).

·         Metapattern, a concise introduction to principles, 2000.

·         Multicontextualism, on principles for knowledge of differences in unity, 2000.

·         An alliance of metamodels: Metapattern meets RM-ODP, 2000.

·         Metapattern: context and time in information models , Addison Wesley, 2001.

·         Business genome for behavioral variety, February 2001.

·         Metapattern: information modeling as enneadic dynamics, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2001-4, Amsterdam University, 2001. Also in: Sprouts, 1(4), 2001.

·         Metapattern Primer, 2001.

·         Semiosis & Sign Exchange: design for a subjective situationism, including conceptual grounds of business information modeling, Information Dynamics, 2002.

·         The ontological atom of behavior: toward a logic for information modeling beyond the classics, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2002-5, Amsterdam University, 2002. Also in: Sprouts, 2(3), 2002.

·         Multiple axiomatization in information management, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2002-6, Amsterdam University, 2002. Also in: Sprouts, 2(4), 2002.

·         What is an instance in information modeling?, 2002.

·         Dia-enneadic framework for information concepts, 2003.

·         Victoria Welby's significs meets the semiotic ennead, 2003.

·         Mannoury's significs, or a philosophy of communal individualism, 2003.

·         The constitutional force of perspectival phenomenology: philosophical unification in information systems, in: Proceedings of the Ninth Americas Conference on Information Systems, Association for Information Systems, pp. 2766-2774, 2003. Draft version available without AIS log-in.

·         Anatomy of Contragrammar, 2003.

·         Metapattern for converging knowledge management with artificial intelligence, 2003.

·         Information metatheory, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2003-12, Amsterdam University, 2003. Also in: Sprouts, 3(5), 2003.

·         The pattern of Metapattern: ontological formalization of context and time for open interconnection, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2004-01, Amsterdam University, 2004. Also in: Sprouts, 4(13), 2004.

·         The Relationship between Metapattern in Knowledge Management as a Conceptual Model and Contragrammar as Conceptual Meaning, with J.D. Haynes, in: Proceedings of the First Workshop on Philosophy and Informatics, Deutsches Forschungszentrum für künstliche Intelligenz, research report 04-02, 2004.

·         Metapattern as context orientation: meeting Odell's challenge of object orientation, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2004-16, Amsterdam University, 2004.

·         Metapattern for financial accounting, 2001-2004.

·         On semiotics of contragrammar, 2003 - 2004.

·         On Metapattern, part 1, 2002 - 2005.

·         On Metapattern and enneadic semiosis, part 1, 2002 - 2005.

·         Semiotics of identity management, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2006-02, Amsterdam University, 2006. Also in: Sprouts, 6(19), 2006. Final version in: The History of Information Security, A Comprehensive Handbook, K. de Leeuw and J. Bergstra (editors), Elsevier, 2007.

·         Topic Maps uprooted, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2006-03, Amsterdam University, 2006. Also in: Sprouts, 6(18), 2006.

·         On Metapattern and enneadic semiosis, part 2, December 2005 - January 2006.

·         On benefiting from Metapattern, June 2006.

·         Do you run an ERP software company?, fictional discussion with chief executive officer of a leading vendor of ERP software, July, 2006.

·         On Metapattern and other themes in information management, 2006.

·         Metapattern of natural complexes: enlisting Justus Buchler's metaphysics for informational infrastructure, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2006-15, Amsterdam University, 2006. Also in: Sprouts, 6(9), 2006.

·         Semiotic connectionism in artificial intelligence, April 2007.

·         Ontology for interdependency: steps to an ecology of information management, in: PrimaVera, working paper 2007-05, Amsterdam University, 2007.

·         How so-called core components are missing the point, September 2007.

·         Practice pattern: beyond central registers etc., commissioned by the Office of the Standardisation Forum (Netherlands), 29 juli 2008; A0-format recommended for printing.

·         Person's identity in community, January 2010.

·         Resident, designing a contextual-semantic diagram with Metapattern, August 2010.

·         On "nil" modality and Metapattern, October 2010, review of “The” Fifth Modality: On Languages that Shape our Motivations and Cultures (2008) by C.W. Roberts.

·         Metapattern as situationist mereology, February, 2010.

·         Metapattern, development of notation, January 2012.

·         In search of differences, January 2012.

·         Join Metapattern’s paradigm shift for your business model, June 2012.

·         Cascading nil nodes in Metapattern, July 2012.

·         Up against a state of perversity, October 2012.

·         Modifying Object-Role Modeling into Situated-Object-Behavior Modeling with Metapattern, January 2013.