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Models and Modelling

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Modelling for SOA

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ERwin (CA)

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Modelling Principles

veryard projects > modelling > principles

A model is a communication of structure, behaviour and other properties. It usually presents itself as representing something, either in the 'real' world, or in the intentions of people (managers or engineers, planners or designers). Sometimes a model merely represents itself. 
A model has a scope of reference. Models may represent some part of the "real world". or some ideal alternative world. Models may also reference strange things that are not in any "real world".
A model always has a scope, purpose and perspective. Sometimes these are stated explicitly. often they are implicit or assumed.
Any model is an abstraction; that is, it ignores certain state variables of the system being modelled and represents other state variables. The criterion for deciding which state variables to represent is the perspective. Thus if a person wishes to use the model rather than the reality in order to ask questions concerning some property (or for some purpose) P because with respect to that property (or for that purpose) the model is as good as the reality, then P is the perspective of the model.  Of course, this may be redefined and renegotiated during the project.  Identification and confirmation of stakeholders is one important task.
Formal models are expressed in a strict modelling language or notation. The vocabulary and grammar of this modelling language may themselves be expressed as a model, which software engineers usually call a metamodel. Such models are used for building support tools, such as diagramming tools and repositories.
For many purposes, informal models are as good as formal models - indeed, sometimes better.
All models leave things out.  This is precisely what makes them useful - as long as you leave out the right things.

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about Richard Veryard

veryard projects > modelling > richard veryard

Modelling business, systems and technology since 1980
Books include Pragmatic Data Analysis (1984) and Information Modelling: Practical Guidance (1992)
Practical modelling experience in wide range of industries, including banking & insurance, IT, manufacturing, oil & gas, retail, services, telecoms, travel and utilities.
Development of new methods and processes, working with James Martin Associates (JMA), Texas Instruments Software, SCIPIO consortium and CBDi Forum.
Extensive training experience.

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