GSN - The Goal Structuring Notation: A Structured Approach to Presenting Arguments

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 5, 2012 - Technology & Engineering - 194 pages
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Goal Structuring Notation (GSN) is becoming increasing popular; practitioners use it in the railway, air traffic management and nuclear industries, amongst others. Originally developed to present safety assurance arguments, GSN need not be restricted to safety assurances only; in principle, you can use it to present (and test) any argument. Anyone wishing to support, or refute, a claim can use GSN. Written by an experienced practitioner, The Goal Structuring Notation is both for those who wish to prepare and present compelling arguments using the notation, and for those who wish to review such arguments critically and effectively.

To emphasise the versatility of this approach The Goal Structuring Notation presents examples and questions based on diverse subject areas including Business Management, Drama, Engineering, Politics and Astrobiology. Simple examples introduce each symbol of the notation before introducing more complex structures which illustrate how the symbols work together in practical scenarios. To aid learning, questions and problems augment the text, so that the reader may reflect upon and try out the new concepts and principles presented.

As a comprehensive instruction in the basics of GSN and it’s application, The Goal Structuring Notation also serves as a references or manual for the practitioner to dip into as problems are encountered or as a key resource for engineers working in those industries which require a clear description of the notation, covering the initial principles and showing why each piece of the notation is necessary.


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1 Introduction
2 Goals
3 Contextual Information
4 How do Goals Make Arguments?
5 A More Practical Example
6 Argument Strategy
7 A Bit More Contextual Information
8 The Argument is Incompletehellip
11 Generic Arguments
12 Missing Evidence
13 CounterEvidence
14 Process Arguments
15 A Brief on Modular GSN
16 A Summary of Goal Structuring Notation
Answers to Problems

9 The Argument is Ready for Reviewhellip
10 A More Interesting Example

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Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

John Spriggs has been employed as a design engineer, a systems engineer, a technical manager, a consultant, a safety assurance manager, and is currently in a quality and business improvement role. John has been using GSN in his work since the last millenium, and has given presentations and published papers that use it to illustrate argument structures. He has also used the notation professionally for designing compliance checklists and for choosing between alternatives.

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