Conceptual Models: Instruments for Digital Ecosystem Development
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria
Dealing with modeling, i.e., defining modeling languages and using them consistently is not everyone’s cup of tea. While in engineering, especially for life-critical systems, modeling is a matter of course, in the practice of the software business one often encounters the opinion that the effort for systematic modeling does not pay off. Often also, the object under development is estimated so complex that it cannot be described with a modeling language but must be programmed right away. This is of course a contradiction in terms. For, programs are (representations of) models of processes, that are to be executed by a computer. In short: programming is modeling! Accordingly, requirements engineering also consists to a large extent of modeling. For practitioners, it would be desirable to be able to use requirements models as building templates, i.e., prescriptive models (specifications) that evolve in parallel with the system and become descriptive models of the final product. It is the task of Infomatics to provide suitable methods for this! Consequently, Informatics has for long systematized the field of modeling, for example by introducing model hierarchies, by ontological foundations, by developing universal modeling languages such as UML, or by specifying domain-specific modeling methods (DSSMs) for areas of application where universal approaches fail. For the design and implementation of reliable and resilient Enterprise Digital Twins and Digital Ecosystems, Conceptual Modeling is the key method. In this talk we aim at a better understanding of what this method is about. We will address the “anatomy” of conceptual models and show how they can be characterized by a signature. We combine this with a transparent explanation of the nature of conceptual models as the link between the dimension of language representation and the dimension of fixing a unique model semantics: Figuratively this leads to the triptych of conceptual modeling. Building on this, we show how digital ecosystems can be designed and developed in a rigorous model-centered approach. This is illustrated by the results of projects we have carried out in the areas of assistance systems and the development of mechatronic systems.
Lecture at NEMO2023
Date/Time: Monday, July 17, 2023 at 10:00