Modeling by Elaboration: An Application to Visual Process Simulation.

Attempts to expand the role of OR/MS into the broader community have been limited in part by the difficulties of educating non-OR/MS professionals concerning the intricacies of modeling. The purpose of this paper is the present and illustrate a new methodology called Modeling by Elaboration (MBE). This methodology assists naive as well as advanced modelers in developing complex models through a process of systematically "elaborating" a fundamental model linked to a specified problem domain. The differences between MBE and other well-known modeling paradigms, such as top-down modeling and rapid prototyping, are discussed. We provide a framework for model elaboration that uses definitional, structural, and hybrid modifications. The MBE process is illustrated using a visual simulation package as applied in a retail-banking domain. Implications of MBE are discussed from three perspectives: learning, software developers, and the organizations for which the models were developed. For future research, we suggest conducting comparative studies of MBE versus traditional modeling approaches in controlled experimental settings, and applying expert systems technology to direct users toward the most appropriate elaboration schemes.

Main Author: Nydick, Robert L.
Other Authors: Liberatore, Matthew J., Chung, Q. B.
Language: English
Published: 2002
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