Modelling : summing up



Modelling  (^)

Modelling is building  Models  for the representation of modules, i. e. the entities of a System.


Modelling requires one to:

  • Decompose the system into its basic entities

  • Identify the essential/relevant entities and linkages

  • Recompose a simplified/selected version of the system with its essential/relevant entities and linkages (i.e. the model)



Models  (^)



Models  (^)


A Model is a selected simplified representation of the essential or relevant entities (modules) of some specific reality and their characteristics (fields, factors, features).


The basic types of Models are:

  • Iconic

  • Analogue

  • Symbolic

Iconic  (^)


An Iconic Model is a look-alike representation of some specific entity (e.g. a house)


Iconic Models can be represented in:

  • Two Dimensions : e.g. photos, drawings, etc.

  • Three Dimensions : e.g. scale model


A scale model can be a:

  • reduction (scaled down, e.g. the model of a building)

  • reproduction (same scale, e.g. copy model, prototype or working model)

  • enlargement (scaled up, e.g. the model of an atom)

of some specific entity

Analogue  (^)


An Analogue Model is the representation of entities of a system by analogue entities pertaining to the model (e.g. through diagrams).


An Analogue Model can be built through:

  • Two Dimensional Visualization : Charts, Graphs, Diagrams

    (e.g. the colour coding of a geographical chart for representing different altitudes)

  • Three Dimensional Visualization : Analogue Devices

    (e.g. the flow of water in pipes to represent the flow of electricity in wires or the flow of resources in an economic system)

Symbolic  (^)


A Symbolic Model is the representation of entities of a system through symbols.

Symbols can be:

  • mathematical

  • logical

  • ad-hoc


A Symbolic Model is used whenever the reality is:

  • too complex or too abstract to be portrayed through an iconic or analogue model

  • the factors of the system (variables) can be represented by symbols that can be manipulated in a meaningful and fruitful way



Modelling : summing up  (^)

Modelling is the building of Models.

Models can be:

  • Iconic

  • Analogue

  • Symbolic

The use of Models allows for:

  • Exploration

  • Explanation

  • Extrapolation

Extrapolation is achieved through manipulation of Models with a view to Simulating.


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