Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about this site.

Q: Why can’t I add new entities to the drawings?

A: It is important that the results be based entirely on the Decomposition Matrix. If you need more inputs or outputs, you should add them the matrix and then regenerate the results. If you want to other types of entities common to the drawing, you should transcribe the results into your design tool and add them. This service is not a full-fledged design tool nor is it a methodology. It is a service to help you work out a design decomposition.

Q: How can I tell if the decomposition is complete?

A: Completeness can be seen in two ways. The first way to look at this is to determine if all the necessary inputs and outputs specified properly. This is largely a people problem. It is sometimes a challenge to engage all the necessary people to make sure a specification is complete. The second way to look at this is whether or not any given entity in the diagram can be decomposed further. An entity cannot be further decomposed if the all the cells in its Decomposition Matrix are checked. An indication if any entities can be decomposed further can be found near the bottom of the Results page.

Q: I entered a Decomposition Matrix previously, but it was not saved in the cookies. Why?

A: There could be several reasons for this to happen:

  • Perhaps your machine does not allow cookies to be saved.
  • You might software on your machine that routinely removes cookies
  • It may have been some time since you last visited this site and the cookies expired in the meantime
  • You might be on a different machine.

Q: Why don’t you have a way export the diagram so that I can use it in my design tool?

A: It is best that you transcribe the diagram into your tool. Many diagrams have optional entities that you might not want to include. Similarly, many diagrams lack typical entities that cannot be automatically generated from the Decomposition Matrix. They need to be added manually.

Q: Aren’t you collecting design information?

A: No, we are not. If you look at the URL that is sent to our servers, all that is sent is the type of decomposition to be generated, the number of inputs and outputs, and an encoded string representing the checkmarks in the Decomposition Matrix. None of the labels that might identify a design are sent to our server. They are stored on your local machine in cookies. The Java Applet that runs on your local machine combines the contents of those local cookies with the resulting decomposition to display the diagram on your machine.

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