1. What all this is about
relational structuresRelational structures like (simple) are quite ‘friendly’ and easy to ‘handle’ in any way. However, if structures become more ‘nasty’ as in (hard), one must think of ways to make them understandable and easier to deal with. The world is full of structures like (hard), in the professional world, like software architecture or business analysis, as well as in our thinking and communication in everyday life.

So, in order to analyze this encounter of the structures of thinking and the structures of the world, one can break it down to elementary relational structures and basic concepts, like for example, Component or Module in Graph Theory, or the concept of Concept in Formal Concept Analysis.

Obviously, there is much abstraction and modeling involved here. However, here we do not care too much about the precise definition of these concepts. The main focus is on mapping practically relevant situations to rigorous formal concepts, where the situations are based on practitioners’ experiences and the formal concepts are provided by mathematical theories.

Notice, that here we restrict ourselves to discrete relational structures and thus exclude functional structures, just in order to stay focussed.

2. On Modelling Theory
The core of Modeling is abstraction, a natural thing we do every day many million times. However, why do so many people think of modeling (in Software Engineering) as sth very heavy weight instead? (Like UML, MDE, …)

I’m trying to gain a deeper understanding of the structure of modeling and become aware of what’s going during abstraction.

This is quite close to, but explicitly different from, Logical Model Theory, Software Language Engineering, Cognitive Science and Epistemology. However, I’m not sure yet how Modelling Theory relates to Model Thinking (by Scott E. Page) or Computational Thinking (by Jeannette M. Wing).

3. About the author
A-Academic and In-Industrial. Not Model Theory. Not Model-based … . Not developing new theorems. No practical experiments, surveys or projects. Rigorous and relevant – as far as capable. Hermeneutical, Dialectical and Analytical – as appropriate.

4 Responses to About

  1. Bastiaan Oud says:


    I was wondering whether you had a source or an author for the rhino picture, because I am thinking of using it in a presentation and would like to know about who has the copyright.


  2. [Online modeler for developers and architects – searching for beta testers]


    I’m searching for experimented people in modeling. I follow your blog modelpractice and it seems you’re involved in modeling. The purpose is to try an online modeler.

    My team and I are working on a tool allowing to achieve real models online, and not drawings. The end-users are coders, software architects and people experienced in modeling.

    We started six months ago and we now have a first version dedicated to class models and supporting some code generators: http://www.genmymodel.com . At this point, many signals and feedbacks let us know we hold something very interesting.
    There are hundreds of ideas for improved or new features but we now have to make the best choices according to the most relevant feedback. We need a few experts to go forward and that’s why we contact you.

    We’d like to do something really cool so If you have a moment to try GenMyModel, it would be very valuable for us. I am happy to answer any questions you may have, let me know if you have any time to talk.

    Email: tom _at_ genmymodel.com
    Twitter: @tomlegrd , @genmymodel

  3. We thought that you might like to know about this, as it concerns a general theory of modelling.

    “Outline for a Morphology of Modelling Methods”

    Can be downloaded from AMG at:

    Click to access amg-1-1-2012.pdf


    Tom Ritchey

    • Hi Tom

      Thanks very much for the hint. Sorry, took me a while to answer (vacation). Also studied your website, especially the wicked problems idea was quite inspiring. I enjoyed reading about morphology of modeling types. Now thinking, how to get this together with what I’m doing. Somehow it seems similar, however …

      My view to the world is this: in a mathematical structure one may have functions and relations. My focus is on solely relational structures. Here, one has certain techniques to handle complexity, like connected components in graph theory or concept lattices in formal concept analysis.

      So, speaking in terms of your properties, for example, I have directed relationships, but I think I don’t have the notions of cause and effect, like you have in your scheme. Thus, my impression is the morphology is mainly focused on functional structures – is this right?

      So far my understanding.

      So long

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