Lecture Notes on Model Thinking II

Some lecture notes/ scribble on Model Thinking by Scott E. Page. Lecture Intro, Part 3: “Thinking more clearly”:

This part points out that modelling is about naming the parts that are relevant to the purpose of the model. Now this is of course beneficial, since you can (sort of) run the model and see what comes out (Equilibrium, Cycle, Random, Complex). Moreover, even without ‘running’ it a model has a value by helping people to communicate clearer.

|=: From my point of view as a Business Analyst I can fully confirm the latter. Business Analysis is about bridging the communication gap btw. business people and engineers. Therefore models are a great common basis. However I feel a bit left alone by the research-side, that is imho focussing very much on the runnable part of modelling, like code generation, model checking and transforming, etc. Is it because the value of models for communication is harder to grasp?

Have fun

About modelpractice

Modeling Theory and Abstraction Awareness in strive for scientific rigour and relevance to information systems engineering.
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8 Responses to Lecture Notes on Model Thinking II

  1. Yes, I have more or less the same feeling, in practice the communication facility provided by model s are very commonplace because there is no time, budget, and interest for non-highly-mission-critical businesses to spend on running the models to see what happens. They need to do it right a way with a procedure that have been practiced before. However, in research we need objective and tangible measures to improve the existing approaches or come up with a novel one…

  2. Executability turns models into an essential part of the path to the end solution, making the value of modeling evident.

    Models as communication tools are nice, but after all communication has been done, there is still a system to be built.

    • Think this is the point: building the system gets more and more easy (through developing platforms and technologies), although on the side of the communication things develop quite slow*.


      *ok, I cannot give a precise dfinition what “slow” or what fast is. It is more an impression, however a very strong one

    • I think in practice proper communication is barely done and developers are rushing too fast to build a system. In smaller teams building simpler systems, week communication may not turn into a big problem, but without a proper communication how developers can be sure that they build the right product?

      • Hi Andriy,
        Do you think “Modelling for efficiency vs Modelling for effectiveness” makes a good line? (where the former refers to automation and the latter to understanding)


        • Hi,

          It’s a nice line. But what is your intend with contrasting each other? In my opinion, modeling is always for understanding. (It is just there is a bias towards models that produce software, i.e. models with executable semantics or with transformations to executable domains (e.g. code generation)).

  3. TY says:

    The focus being on the running, which is quite natural, because in fact, in such as MDE community, almost all of the models people who talking about, are the models of software systems, and often to forget, or to be confused the difference among such as the software models, business (domain) models, problem or requirement models, etc.

    In other hand, however, it is still can not get more promotion or attention for the relatively pure enterprise / business modeling that for the “communication”, this may also not only a problem of attitude.

  4. Hi!

    yes, think the tangible measures for communication are a topic far outside computer science. Would require inter-discipline collaboration, what is usually hard to achieve. Also the confusion of biz vs software models makes the problem quite hard to realise for researchers.


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