3.2 Syntactical rules for the documentation Some syntactical rules were given at the end of section 2.2.5. Additional rules should be elaborated in connection with the development of tools for computerized support of the documentation system. We can see the need for rules concerning
- how a documentation could and should be divided into modules, subsystems, and components;
- the formation of names, typography for graphs, flows, matrixes, etc.
3.3 Advice and instructions We have elaborated two complete documentation examples. These examples, which concern two real surveys, completed by Statistics Sweden, give quite detailed guidance concerning the intended contents under each item in the documentation templet. Furthermore, we propose that a "general example" should be elaborated, consisting of a documentation templet (cf section 3.1), where, for each documentation item, there are detailed advice and instructions concerning the expected contents under the particular item.
Appendix 1. General frameworks for formal description of statistical surveys. A1.1 Introduction When we are using activities like "thinking" and "counting" in order to produce statements, which (hopefully at least) tell something of interest concerning "the real world", we must base our "thinking", "counting", or the like, on premises and assumptions about the reality, which is the object of our interest. We must formulate formal models; "mathematical models" is an approximately synonymous term. It is only inside the framework of the formal model that we may carry out our thinking and computations, which, via the "dictionary" of the model can be translated into statements about the real world.
In this appendix we shall to some extent deepen the discussion in chapter 2 of the main report about concepts and descriptions. We shall start with a model framework, which is on a relatively general level, and then we shall make the discussion more specific and concrete. In section A1.2 we shall introduce the most general model framework, which will be referred to with the term triple "reality / observation / control system". That framework is believed to be wide enough for comprising, by and large, all statistical activities at Statistics Sweden. The type of "realities", which are of particular interest at Statistics Sweden, statistical information systems, will be treated more in depth in section A1.3.
A1.2 Reality / observation / control system The conceptual framework, which we shall first formulate, is used within several scientifical disciplines. We shall start from a general terminology and then, step by step, move to terms, which are more in line with the traditions of statistics production.
A1.2.1 Then general conceptual framework Even though "everything in the real world is related", it would not be possible to consider everything at one. When formulating a formal model for some phenomenon, we must confine ourselves to what we consider to be the most essential aspects of the "part of reality" that we are interested in. In the general case, that part of reality will be referred to by words like "the object", "the process", or "the system. No one of these words is quite adequate in the environment of Statistics Sweden, primaily because they are already being used for other purposes. From now on, the part of reality, which we are interested in, will be referred to with one of the terms "slice of reality", "object system", or "universe of interest".
When making a formal description of a slice of reality, one can only consider a limited number of aspects of it, and such aspects are described by means of variables. A variable is associated with
- a variable name, and
- a value set,
where the value set contains (at least) the values, which the variable under consideration can have. There is no requirement that variable values should be numerical; they may be qualitative as well as quantitative. Different variables may very well have the same value set. Possible synonyms for "variable" are property and attribute. When talking about variables we usually (and more or less explicitly) also have in mind "carriers" of the variables. The "variable carriers" are referred to as object types. For the pair