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A conceptual model is a
representation Representation may refer to: Law and politics *Representation (politics) Political representation is the activity of making citizens "present" in public policy making processes when political actors act in the best interest of citizens. This def ...
of a
system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, structure and purp ...

system
. It consists of
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the bo ...

concept
s used to help people
know Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to exp ...
,
understand Understanding is a psychological Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic disc ...

understand
, or
simulate A simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world process or system over time. Simulations require the use of models; the model represents the key characteristics or behaviors of the selected system or process, whereas the simula ...

simulate
a subject the model represents. It is also a set of concepts. In contrast,
physical model , Beaconsfield, UK City Centre Image:Models of battle at australian war memorial museum.jpg, Model of a war scene — Australian War Memorial, Canberra A physical model (most commonly referred to simply as a model but in this context distinguished ...
s are
physical object A bubble of exhaled gas in water In common usage and classical mechanics, a physical object or physical body (or simply an object or body) is a collection of matter within a defined contiguous boundary in three-dimensional space Three-dimen ...
s, such as a toy model that may be assembled and made to work like the object it represents. The term may refer to models that are formed after a
conceptualization In information science a conceptualization is an abstract simplified view of some selected part of the world, containing the objects, concepts, and other entities that are presumed of interest for some particular purpose and the relationships betwee ...

conceptualization
or
generalization A generalization is a form of abstraction Abstraction in its main sense is a conceptual process where general rules and concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas or general notions that occur in the mind, in speech, or in thought. They ...

generalization
process. Conceptual models are often abstractions of things in the real world, whether physical or social.
Semantic Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another ...
studies are relevant to various stages of concept formation. Semantics is basically about concepts, the meaning that thinking beings give to various elements of their experience.


Overview


Models of concepts and models that are conceptual

The term ''conceptual model'' is normal. It could mean "a model of concept" or it could mean "a model that is conceptual." A distinction can be made between ''what models are'' and ''what models are made of''. With the exception of iconic models, such as a scale model of
Winchester Cathedral The Cathedral Church of the Holy TrinityHistoric England. "Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity (1095509)". ''National Heritage List for England''. Retrieved 8 September 2014., Saint Peter, Saint Paul and Saint Swithun, commonly known as Wincheste ...

Winchester Cathedral
, most models are concepts. But they are, mostly, intended to be models of real world states of affairs. The value of a model is usually directly proportional to how well it corresponds to a past, present, future, actual or potential state of affairs. A model of a concept is quite different because in order to be a good model it need not have this real world correspondence. In artificial intelligence, conceptual models and
conceptual graphs A conceptual graph (CG) is a formalism for knowledge representation. In the first published paper on CGs, John F. Sowa used them to represent the conceptual schemas used in database systems. The first book on CGs applied them to a wide range of ...
are used for building
expert systems In artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit=posse ...

expert systems
and
knowledge-based systems A knowledge-based system (KBS) is a computer program A computer program is a collection of instructions that can be executed by a computer to perform a specific task. A computer program is usually written by a computer programmer in a progra ...
; here the analysts are concerned to represent expert opinion on what is true not their own ideas on what is true.


Type and scope of conceptual models

Conceptual models (models that are conceptual) range in type from the more concrete, such as the
mental image A mental image or mental picture is an experience that, on most occasions, significantly resembles the experience of visually perceiving some object, event, or scene, but occurs when the relevant object, event, or scene is not actually present ...
of a familiar physical object, to the formal generality and abstractness of
mathematical model A mathematical model is a description of a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environm ...
s which do not appear to the mind as an image. Conceptual models also range in terms of the scope of the subject matter that they are taken to represent. A model may, for instance, represent a single thing (e.g. the ''Statue of Liberty''), whole classes of things (e.g. ''the electron''), and even very vast domains of subject matter such as ''the physical universe.'' The variety and scope of conceptual models is due to the variety of purposes had by the people using them. Conceptual modeling is the activity of formally describing some aspects of the physical and social world around us for the purposes of understanding and communication."


Fundamental objectives

A conceptual model's primary objective is to convey the fundamental principles and basic functionality of the system which it represents. Also, a conceptual model must be developed in such a way as to provide an easily understood system interpretation for the model's users. A conceptual model, when implemented properly, should satisfy four fundamental objectives. # Enhance an individual's understanding of the representative system # Facilitate efficient conveyance of system details between stakeholders # Provide a point of reference for system designers to extract system specifications # Document the system for future reference and provide a means for collaboration The conceptual model plays an important role in the overall system development life cycle. Figure 1 below, depicts the role of the conceptual model in a typical system development scheme. It is clear that if the conceptual model is not fully developed, the execution of fundamental system properties may not be implemented properly, giving way to future problems or system shortfalls. These failures do occur in the industry and have been linked to; lack of user input, incomplete or unclear requirements, and changing requirements. Those weak links in the system design and development process can be traced to improper execution of the fundamental objectives of conceptual modeling. The importance of conceptual modeling is evident when such systemic failures are mitigated by thorough system development and adherence to proven development objectives/techniques.


Modelling techniques

As systems have become increasingly complex, the role of conceptual modelling has dramatically expanded. With that expanded presence, the effectiveness of conceptual modeling at capturing the fundamentals of a system is being realized. Building on that realization, numerous conceptual modeling techniques have been created. These techniques can be applied across multiple disciplines to increase the user's understanding of the system to be modeled.I. Davies, P. Green, M. Rosemann, M. Indulska, S. Gallo, How do practitioners use conceptual modeling in practice?, Elsevier, Data & Knowledge Engineering 58 (2006) pp.358–80
/ref> A few techniques are briefly described in the following text, however, many more exist or are being developed. Some commonly used conceptual modeling techniques and methods include:
workflow A workflow consists of an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of activity, enabled by the systematic organization of resources into processes that transform materials, provide services, or process information. It can be depicted as a sequence of ...

workflow
modeling,
workforce modeling{{peacock, date=January 2014 Workforce modeling is the process by which the need for skilled workers at a particular point in time (demand) is matched directly with the availability and preference of skilled workers (supply). The resulting mathema ...
,
rapid application development Rapid-application development (RAD), also called rapid-application building (RAB), is both a general term for adaptive software development Software development is the process of conceiving, specifying, designing, programming, documenting, ...
,
object-role modeling Object-role modeling (ORM) is used to model the semantics Semantics (from grc, wikt:σημαντικός, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of meaning, reference, or truth. The term can be used to refer to sub ...
, and the
Unified Modeling Language The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a general-purpose, developmental, modeling language A modeling language is any artificial language that can be used to express information Information is processed, organised and structured data. ...
(UML).


Data flow modeling

Data flow modeling (DFM) is a basic conceptual modeling technique that graphically represents elements of a system. DFM is a fairly simple technique, however, like many conceptual modeling techniques, it is possible to construct higher and lower level representative diagrams. The
data flow diagram A data-flow diagram is a way of representing a flow of data through a process or a system (usually an information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical, organizational system designed to collect, process, store, and distribu ...
usually does not convey complex system details such as parallel development considerations or timing information, but rather works to bring the major system functions into context. Data flow modeling is a central technique used in systems development that utilizes the
structured systems analysis and design method Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM), originally released as ''methodology'', is a systems approach to the analysis and design of information systems. SSADM was produced for the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency T ...
(SSADM).


Entity relationship modeling

Entity–relationship model An entity–relationship model (or ER model) describes interrelated things of interest in a specific domain of knowledge. A basic ER model is composed of entity types (which classify the things of interest) and specifies relationships that can ex ...
ing (ERM) is a conceptual modeling technique used primarily for software system representation. Entity-relationship diagrams, which are a product of executing the ERM technique, are normally used to represent
database model A database model is a type of data model A data model (or datamodel) is an abstract model that organizes elements of data Data are units of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the ques ...
s and information systems. The main components of the diagram are the entities and relationships. The entities can represent independent functions, objects, or events. The relationships are responsible for relating the entities to one another. To form a system process, the relationships are combined with the entities and any attributes needed to further describe the process. Multiple diagramming conventions exist for this technique;
IDEF1X Integration DEFinition for information modeling (IDEF1X) is a data modeling Data modeling in software engineering is the process of creating a data model for an information system by applying certain formal techniques. Overview Data mod ...
, , and
EXPRESS Express or EXPRESS may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Express: Aisle to Glory'', a 1998 comedy short film featuring Kal Penn * ''The Express: The Ernie Davis Story'', a 2008 film starring Dennis Quaid Music * Express (album), ...
, to name a few. These conventions are just different ways of viewing and organizing the data to represent different system aspects.


Event-driven process chain

The
event-driven process chain An event-driven process chain (EPC) is a type of flowchart, flow chart for business process modeling. EPC can be used to configure enterprise resource planning execution, and for business process improvement. It can be used to control an autonomou ...
(EPC) is a conceptual modeling technique which is mainly used to systematically improve business process flows. Like most conceptual modeling techniques, the event driven process chain consists of entities/elements and functions that allow relationships to be developed and processed. More specifically, the EPC is made up of events which define what state a process is in or the rules by which it operates. In order to progress through events, a function/ active event must be executed. Depending on the process flow, the function has the ability to transform event states or link to other event driven process chains. Other elements exist within an EPC, all of which work together to define how and by what rules the system operates. The EPC technique can be applied to business practices such as resource planning, process improvement, and logistics.


Joint application development

The
dynamic systems development method Dynamic systems development method (DSDM) is an Agile management, agile project delivery framework, initially used as a software development methodology, software development method. First released in 1994, DSDM originally sought to provide some d ...
uses a specific process called JEFFF to conceptually model a systems life cycle. JEFFF is intended to focus more on the higher level development planning that precedes a project's initialization. The JAD process calls for a series of workshops in which the participants work to identify, define, and generally map a successful project from conception to completion. This method has been found to not work well for large scale applications, however smaller applications usually report some net gain in efficiency.


Place/transition net

Also known as
Petri net A Petri net, also known as a place/transition (PT) net, is one of several mathematical modeling languages for the description of distributed systems. It is a class of discrete event dynamic system. A Petri net is a directed bipartite graph tha ...
s, this conceptual modeling technique allows a system to be constructed with elements that can be described by direct mathematical means. The petri net, because of its nondeterministic execution properties and well defined mathematical theory, is a useful technique for modeling concurrent system behavior, i.e. simultaneous process executions.


State transition modeling

State transition modeling makes use of state transition diagrams to describe system behavior. These state transition diagrams use distinct states to define system behavior and changes. Most current modeling tools contain some kind of ability to represent state transition modeling. The use of state transition models can be most easily recognized as logic state diagrams and directed graphs for
finite-state machine A finite-state machine (FSM) or finite-state automaton (FSA, plural: ''automata''), finite automaton, or simply a state machine, is a mathematical model of computation In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical fou ...
s.


Technique evaluation and selection

Because the conceptual modeling method can sometimes be purposefully vague to account for a broad area of use, the actual application of concept modeling can become difficult. To alleviate this issue, and shed some light on what to consider when selecting an appropriate conceptual modeling technique, the framework proposed by Gemino and Wand will be discussed in the following text. However, before evaluating the effectiveness of a conceptual modeling technique for a particular application, an important concept must be understood; Comparing conceptual models by way of specifically focusing on their graphical or top level representations is shortsighted. Gemino and Wand make a good point when arguing that the emphasis should be placed on a conceptual
modeling language A modeling language is any artificial language that can be used to express information Information is processed, organised and structured data. It provides context for data and enables decision making process. For example, a single customer ...
when choosing an appropriate technique. In general, a conceptual model is developed using some form of conceptual modeling technique. That technique will utilize a conceptual modeling language that determines the rules for how the model is arrived at. Understanding the capabilities of the specific language used is inherent to properly evaluating a conceptual modeling technique, as the language reflects the techniques descriptive ability. Also, the conceptual modeling language will directly influence the depth at which the system is capable of being represented, whether it be complex or simple.


Considering affecting factors

Building on some of their earlier work, Gemino and Wand acknowledge some main points to consider when studying the affecting factors: the content that the conceptual model must represent, the method in which the model will be presented, the characteristics of the model's users, and the conceptual model languages specific task. The conceptual model's content should be considered in order to select a technique that would allow relevant information to be presented. The presentation method for selection purposes would focus on the technique's ability to represent the model at the intended level of depth and detail. The characteristics of the model's users or participants is an important aspect to consider. A participant's background and experience should coincide with the conceptual model's complexity, else misrepresentation of the system or misunderstanding of key system concepts could lead to problems in that system's realization. The conceptual model language task will further allow an appropriate technique to be chosen. The difference between creating a system conceptual model to convey system functionality and creating a system conceptual model to interpret that functionality could involve two completely different types of conceptual modeling languages.


Considering affected variables

Gemino and Wand go on to expand the affected variable content of their proposed framework by considering the focus of observation and the criterion for comparison. The focus of observation considers whether the conceptual modeling technique will create a "new product", or whether the technique will only bring about a more intimate understanding of the system being modeled. The criterion for comparison would weigh the ability of the conceptual modeling technique to be efficient or effective. A conceptual modeling technique that allows for development of a system model which takes all system variables into account at a high level may make the process of understanding the system functionality more efficient, but the technique lacks the necessary information to explain the internal processes, rendering the model less effective. When deciding which conceptual technique to use, the recommendations of Gemino and Wand can be applied in order to properly evaluate the scope of the conceptual model in question. Understanding the conceptual models scope will lead to a more informed selection of a technique that properly addresses that particular model. In summary, when deciding between modeling techniques, answering the following questions would allow one to address some important conceptual modeling considerations. # What content will the conceptual model represent? # How will the conceptual model be presented? # Who will be using or participating in the conceptual model? # How will the conceptual model describe the system? # What is the conceptual models focus of observation? # Will the conceptual model be efficient or effective in describing the system? Another function of the simulation conceptual model is to provide a rational and factual basis for assessment of simulation application appropriateness.


Models in philosophy and science


Mental model

In cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind, a mental model is a representation of something in the mind, but a
mental model A mental model is an explanation of someone's thought In their most common sense, the terms thought and thinking refer to conscious cognitive processes that can happen independently of sensory stimulation. Their most paradigmatic forms are j ...
may also refer to a nonphysical external model of the mind itself.


Metaphysical models

A metaphysical model is a type of conceptual model which is distinguished from other conceptual models by its proposed scope; a metaphysical model intends to represent reality in the broadest possible way. This is to say that it explains the answers to fundamental questions such as whether
matter In classical physics Classical physics is a group of physics theories that predate modern, more complete, or more widely applicable theories. If a currently accepted theory is considered to be modern, and its introduction represented a major ...
and
mind The mind is the set of faculties responsible for mental phenomena A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable fact or event. The term came into its modern philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fun ...

mind
are one or two
substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition * Matter, anything that has mass and takes up space * Substance th ...
s; or whether or not humans have
free will Free will is the capacity of agents to choose between different possible courses of action ACTION is a bus operator in , Australia owned by the . History On 19 July 1926, the commenced operating public bus services between Eastlake ( ...

free will
.


Conceptual model vs. semantics model

Conceptual Models and semantic models have many similarities, however the way they are presented, the level of flexibility and the use are different. Conceptual models have a certain purpose in mind, hence the core semantic concepts are predefined in a so-called meta model. This enables a pragmatic modelling but reduces the flexibility, as only the predefined semantic concepts can be used. Samples are flow charts for process behaviour or organisational structure for tree behaviour. Semantic models are more flexible and open, and therefore more difficult to model. Potentially any semantic concept can be defined, hence the modelling support is very generic. Samples are terminologies, taxonomies or ontologies. In a concept model each concept has a unique and distinguishable graphical representation, whereas semantic concepts are by default the same. In a concept model each concept has predefined properties that can be populated, whereas semantic concepts are related to concepts that are interpreted as properties. In a concept model operational semantic can be built-in, like the processing of a sequence, whereas a semantic model needs explicit semantic definition of the sequence. The decision if a concept model or a semantic model is used, depends therefore on the "object under survey", the intended goal, the necessary flexibility as well as how the model is interpreted. In case of human-interpretation there may be a focus on graphical concept models, in case of machine interpretation there may be the focus on semantic models.


Epistemological models

An epistemological model is a type of conceptual model whose proposed scope is the known and the knowable, and the and the believable.


Logical models

In
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
, a model is a type of
interpretation Interpretation may refer to: Culture * Aesthetic interpretation, an explanation of the meaning of a work of art * Allegorical interpretation, an approach that assumes a text should not be interpreted literally * Dramatic Interpretation, an event i ...
under which a particular statement is true. Logical models can be broadly divided into ones which only attempt to represent concepts, such as mathematical models; and ones which attempt to represent physical objects, and factual relationships, among which are scientific models.
Model theory In mathematical logic Mathematical logic is the study of formal logic within mathematics. Major subareas include model theory, proof theory, set theory, and recursion theory. Research in mathematical logic commonly addresses the mathematical p ...
is the study of (classes of) mathematical structures such as groups, fields, graphs, or even universes of set theory, using tools from mathematical logic. A system that gives meaning to the sentences of a formal language is called a model for the language. If a model for a language moreover satisfies a particular sentence or theory (set of sentences), it is called a model of the sentence or theory. Model theory has close ties to algebra and universal algebra.


Mathematical models

Mathematical models can take many forms, including but not limited to dynamical systems, statistical models, differential equations, or game theoretic models. These and other types of models can overlap, with a given model involving a variety of abstract structures. A more comprehensive type of mathematical model uses a linguistic version of
category theory Category theory formalizes mathematical structure In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and ...
to model a given situation. Akin to entity-relationship models, custom
categories Category, plural categories, may refer to: Philosophy and general uses *Categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the world (such ...
or sketches can be directly translated into
database schema The database schema is its structure described in a formal language In logic, mathematics, computer science, and linguistics, a formal language consists of string (computer science), words whose symbol (formal), letters are taken from an alph ...
s. The difference is that logic is replaced by category theory, which brings powerful theorems to bear on the subject of modeling, especially useful for translating between disparate models (as functors between categories).


Scientific models

A scientific model is a simplified abstract view of a complex reality. A scientific model represents
empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition In logic and linguistics, a proposition is the meaning of a declarative sentence (linguistics), sentence. In philosophy, "Meaning (philosophy), meaning" is understood to be a non-linguistic entity which is s ...
objects, phenomena, and physical processes in a
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
al way. Attempts to formalize the
principle A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a Legal rule, rule that has to be or usually is to be followed. It can be desirably followed, or it can be an inevitable consequence of something, suc ...
s of the
empirical science In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, l ...
s use an
interpretation Interpretation may refer to: Culture * Aesthetic interpretation, an explanation of the meaning of a work of art * Allegorical interpretation, an approach that assumes a text should not be interpreted literally * Dramatic Interpretation, an event i ...
to model reality, in the same way logicians axiomatize the
principle A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a Legal rule, rule that has to be or usually is to be followed. It can be desirably followed, or it can be an inevitable consequence of something, suc ...
s of
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
. The aim of these attempts is to construct a
formal system A formal system is an abstract structure used for inferring theorems from axioms according to a set of rules. These rules, which are used for carrying out the inference of theorems from axioms, are the logical calculus of the formal system. A for ...
for which
reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary Imaginary may refer to: * Imaginary (sociology), a concept in sociology * The Imaginary (psychoanalysis), a concept by ...

reality
is the only interpretation. The world is an interpretation (or model) of these sciences, only insofar as these sciences are true.edited by Hans Freudenthal (1951),
The Concept and the Role of the Model in Mathematics and Natural and Social Sciences
', pp. 8–9


Statistical models

A statistical model is a
probability distribution functionA probability distribution function is some function that may be used to define a particular probability distribution. Depending upon which text is consulted, the term may refer to: * a cumulative distribution function * a probability mass function * ...
proposed as generating data. In a
parametric model In statistics, a parametric model or parametric family or finite-dimensional model is a particular class of statistical models. Specifically, a parametric model is a family of probability distributions that has a finite number of parameters. Defin ...
, the probability distribution function has variable parameters, such as the
mean There are several kinds of mean in mathematics, especially in statistics. For a data set, the ''arithmetic mean'', also known as arithmetic average, is a central value of a finite set of numbers: specifically, the sum of the values divided by ...
and
variance In probability theory Probability theory is the branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces ...

variance
in a
normal distribution In probability theory Probability theory is the branch of concerned with . Although there are several different , probability theory treats the concept in a rigorous mathematical manner by expressing it through a set of . Typically these ...

normal distribution
, or the
coefficients In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no gen ...
for the various
exponent Exponentiation is a mathematical Mathematics (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europ ...
s of the
independent variable Dependent and Independent variables are variables in mathematical modeling A mathematical model is a description of a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to f ...
in
linear regression In statistics, linear regression is a Linearity, linear approach for modelling the relationship between a Scalar (mathematics), scalar response and one or more explanatory variables (also known as dependent and independent variables). The case of ...

linear regression
. A nonparametric model has a distribution function without parameters, such as in
bootstrapping In general, bootstrapping usually refers to a self-starting process that is supposed to continue or grow without external input. Etymology Tall boot A boot, plural boots, is a type of specific footwear Footwear refers to garments worn ...
, and is only loosely confined by assumptions.
Model selection Model selection is the task of selecting a statistical model A statistical model is a mathematical model A mathematical model is a description of a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act ...
is a statistical method for selecting a distribution function within a class of them; e.g., in linear regression where the dependent variable is a polynomial of the independent variable with parametric coefficients, model selection is selecting the highest exponent, and may be done with nonparametric means, such as with cross validation. In statistics there can be models of mental events as well as models of physical events. For example, a statistical model of customer behavior is a model that is conceptual (because behavior is physical), but a statistical model of customer satisfaction is a model of a concept (because satisfaction is a mental not a physical event).


Social and political models


Economic models

In
economics Economics () is a social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interact ...

economics
, a model is a theoretical construct that represents economic processes by a set of variables and a set of logical and/or quantitative relationships between them. The economic model is a simplified framework designed to illustrate complex processes, often but not always using mathematical techniques. Frequently, economic models use structural parameters. Structural parameters are underlying parameters in a model or class of models. A model may have various parameters and those parameters may change to create various properties.


Models in systems architecture

A system model is the conceptual model that describes and represents the structure, behavior, and more views of a
system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, structure and purp ...

system
. A system model can represent multiple views of a system by using two different approaches. The first one is the non-architectural approach and the second one is the architectural approach. The non-architectural approach respectively picks a model for each view. The architectural approach, also known as
system architectureA system architecture is the conceptual model A conceptual model is a representation of a system, made of the composition of concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas or general notions that occur in the mind, in speech, or in thought. They a ...
, instead of picking many heterogeneous and unrelated models, will use only one integrated architectural model.


Business process modelling

In business process modelling the enterprise process model is often referred to as the ''business process model''. Process models are core concepts in the discipline of process engineering. Process models are: * Processes of the same nature that are classified together into a model. * A description of a process at the type level. * Since the process model is at the type level, a process is an instantiation of it. The same process model is used repeatedly for the development of many applications and thus, has many instantiations. One possible use of a process model is to prescribe how things must/should/could be done in contrast to the process itself which is really what happens. A process model is roughly an anticipation of what the process will look like. What the process shall be will be determined during actual system development. C. Rolland and C. Thanos Pernici (1998). "A Comprehensive View of Process Engineering". In: ''Proceedings of the 10th International Conference CAiSE'98, B. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1413'',
Pisa, Italy Pisa ( , or ) is a city and ''comune'' in Tuscany, central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its Leaning Tower of Pisa, l ...
, Springer, June 1998.


Models in information system design


Conceptual models of human activity systems

Conceptual models of human activity systems are used in soft systems methodology (SSM), which is a method of systems analysis concerned with the structuring of problems in management. These models are models of concepts; the authors specifically state that they are not intended to represent a state of affairs in the physical world. They are also used in information
requirements analysis In systems engineering and software engineering, requirements analysis focuses on the tasks that determine the needs or conditions to meet the new or altered product or project, taking account of the possibly conflicting requirements of the v ...
(IRA) which is a variant of SSM developed for information system design and software engineering.


Logico-linguistic models

Logico-linguistic modeling is another variant of SSM that uses conceptual models. However, this method combines models of concepts with models of putative real world objects and events. It is a graphical representation of modal logic in which modal operators are used to distinguish statement about concepts from statements about real world objects and events.


Data models


Entity–relationship model

In software engineering, an
entity–relationship model An entity–relationship model (or ER model) describes interrelated things of interest in a specific domain of knowledge. A basic ER model is composed of entity types (which classify the things of interest) and specifies relationships that can ex ...
(ERM) is an abstract and conceptual representation of data. Entity–relationship modeling is a database modeling method, used to produce a type of conceptual schema or semantic data model of a system, often a relational database, and its requirements in a top-down fashion. Diagrams created by this process are called entity-relationship diagrams, ER diagrams, or ERDs. Entity–relationship models have had wide application in the building of information systems intended to support activities involving objects and events in the real world. In these cases they are models that are conceptual. However, this modeling method can be used to build computer games or a family tree of the Greek Gods, in these cases it would be used to model concepts.


Domain model

A domain model is a type of conceptual model used to depict the structural elements and their conceptual constraints within a
domain Domain may refer to: Mathematics *Domain of a function In mathematics, the domain of a Function (mathematics), function is the Set (mathematics), set of inputs accepted by the function. It is sometimes denoted by \operatorname(f), where is th ...
of interest (sometimes called the ''problem domain''). A domain model includes the various entities, their attributes and relationships, plus the constraints governing the conceptual integrity of the structural model elements comprising that problem domain. A domain model may also include a number of conceptual views, where each view is pertinent to a particular subject area of the domain or to a particular subset of the domain model which is of interest to a stakeholder of the domain model. Like entity–relationship models, domain models can be used to model concepts or to model real world objects and events.


See also

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Concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the bo ...

Concept
* Concept mapping *
Conceptual framework A conceptual framework is an analytical tool Analytical chemistry studies and uses instruments and methods used to separate, identify, and quantify matter. In practice, separation, identification or quantification may constitute the entire ana ...
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Conceptual model (computer science) In the field of computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the stu ...
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Conceptual schema A conceptual schema is a high-level description of informational needs underlying the design of a database. It typically includes only the main concepts and the main relationships among them. Typically this is a first-cut model, with insufficient d ...
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Conceptual systemA conceptual system is a system that is composed of non- physical objects, i.e. ideas or concepts. In this context a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a un ...
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Information model An information model in software engineering Software engineering is the systematic application of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, ...
* International Conference on Conceptual Modeling *
Interpretation (logic) An interpretation is an assignment of meaning to the symbol (formal), symbols of a formal language. Many formal languages used in mathematics, logic, and theoretical computer science are defined in solely syntax, syntactic terms, and as such do n ...
*
Isolated system In physical science, an isolated system is either of the following: # a physical system In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , i ...
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Ontology (computer science) In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of Algor ...
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Paradigm In science Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as ...
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Physical model , Beaconsfield, UK City Centre Image:Models of battle at australian war memorial museum.jpg, Model of a war scene — Australian War Memorial, Canberra A physical model (most commonly referred to simply as a model but in this context distinguished ...
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Process of concept formation Concept formation is a type of discovery learning involving psychological Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feel ...
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Scientific modeling Scientific modelling is a scientific activity, the aim of which is to make a particular part or feature of the world easier to understand, define, quantify, visualize, or simulate by referencing it to existing and usually commonly accepted ...
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Theory A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, G ...

Theory


References


Further reading

* J. Parsons, L. Cole (2005), "What do the pictures mean? Guidelines for experimental evaluation of representation fidelity in diagrammatical conceptual modeling techniques", '' Data & Knowledge Engineering'' 55: 327–342; * A. Gemino, Y. Wand (2005), "Complexity and clarity in conceptual modeling: Comparison of mandatory and optional properties", '' Data & Knowledge Engineering'' 55: 301–326; * D. Batra (2005),
Conceptual Data Modeling Patterns
, ''Journal of Database Management'' 16: 84–106 * Papadimitriou, Fivos. (2010). "Conceptual Modelling of Landscape Complexity". ''Landscape Research'', 35(5):563-570.


External links


Models
article in the ''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' {{DEFAULTSORT:Conceptual Model Conceptual modelling, Concepts, Model Metaphor Semantics Simulation