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The Art of Modelling: Part 1


Conceptually, models are a medium that can be used to explain how a system operates in a way so that the chance of someone misunderstanding the concept is minimal. This article, will introduce some techniques and frameworks to help you create efficient models.

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By: The Rational Edge
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August 17, 2003
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · The Art of Modelling: Part 1
  2. · Constructing an Analytical Framework
  3. · Conclusion

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The Art of Modelling: Part 1 - Conclusion
(Page 3 of 3 )

Arguably, anyone can create a model; but creating a truly effective model is hard work. As mentioned previously, we continuously create models of the world we experience. Our difficult goal is to communicate those models to others in a way that enhances their understanding.

The techniques and frameworks described in this article are one path toward achieving this goal. In the next article we will delve deeper into the techniques of model capture, including examples of the different forms models take, and the types of reasoning that can be employed when creating a physical model from a mental one. Finally, in the third and final article for this series, we will look at visual model presentation and discuss concepts of color, balance, composition, and form.

References

C .Alexander, A Timeless Way of Building. Christopher Alexander, 1979.

T. H.Athey, Systematic Systems Approach. Prentice-Hall, 1982.

H. Lasswell, "The structure and function of communications in society," in The Communication of Ideas. Harper and Brothers, 1948.

T. Mandel, The Elements of User Interface Design. Wiley Computer Publishing, 1997.

D. Meyhew, Principals and Guidelines to Software Interface Design. Prentice-Hall, 1992.

G. Miller, "The magical number seven plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing information." Psychological Review 63 (1956): 81-97.

J. Morgan and P. Welton, See What I Mean? Edward Arnold, 1992.

V. Satir, The New People Making. Science and Behavior Books, 1988.

W. Schramm, The Process and Effects of Mass Communications. University of Illinois Press, 1954.

Notes

  1. J.Morgan and P. Welton, See What I Mean? Edward Arnold, 1992, and T. Mandel, The Elements of User Interface Design. Wiley Computer Publishing, 1997.
  2. W.Schramm, The Process and Effects of Mass Communications. University of Illinois Press, 1954.
  3. G. Miller, "The magical number seven plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing information." Psychological Review 63 (1956): 81-97.
  4. It is interesting to note that this is a form of indirect reasoning, because the conclusion is reached by inferring the mechanism from the experimental result. We will investigate various reasoning methods in the second article of this series.
  5. Please do not confuse conceptual and physical models used in this context with the Rational Unified Process definition, based on the 4+1 architectural views proposed by P. Krutchen. Here the term is meant to express differences between a mental model and the constructed physical model.

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