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Volume 26 / Issue 9

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Using the Scientific Method as a Metaphor to Understand Modeling

Emilio Rodríguez-Priego (Universidad de La Rioja, Spain)

Francisco J. García-Izquierdo (Universidad de La Rioja, Spain)

Ángel Luis Rubio (Universidad de La Rioja, Spain)

Abstract: Although modeling is used to address complex problems, it is difficult to study modeling itself with an easy to understand model. Many authors have proposed such a model of modeling, but a consensus on the meaning of the basic modeling concepts has yet to materialize. We claim that any proposal regarding the fundamentals of modeling should address several objectives, such as to focus on the concept of model and define what it is, how a model is created and how it relates to the entities it models or to explain the relationship between model and other basic concepts such as metamodel or (modeling-)language. In this paper, we present some of the most important elements of our proposal, named Scientific Method approach to Modeling (SMM). Our proposal uses the Scientific Method as a metaphor to explain the mechanisms of modeling, since it provides well-known mechanisms constantly utilized when developing or understanding models: validation, analysis, synthesis and analogy. Inspired by these mechanisms, our proposal addresses the notion of model by including several constructors that allow us to explain better several complex modeling mechanisms extensively discussed in the literature, such as the metamodel notion.

Keywords: metamodel, model, modeling language, process of modeling, quasi-model, scientific method, theory of modeling

Categories: D.2.2, H.1, M.4