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Simplification (Abbreviation, Reduction) is Not the Essential Feature for Concept of Model

It seems widely recognized, simplification (or abbreviation, reduction; it also very related to abstract, see this post) is an unquestionable features to the concept of model. In my opinion, however, it is not absolute or necessary but just a widespread feature of model. It is absolute to just some sort of model, for example, the model of natural phenomena / things in a certain language.

There are some instances of model, which have some contradiction with the simplification feature:

  • A clothing model shows a jacket to the designer: one who can play the model since she/he has an ideal body with all the properties more the ordinary (target) customers who will wear the jacket.
  • Using the original as a model to copy: e.g., use an alien spacecraft as model to imitate the very same ship. One may argue that the model is the output – okay, but anyway, the simplification is not the essential feature in this case.

Furthermore, all the confusion and argument can be eliminated by my definition: model as use.

(Enjoy seeing a new introduction for Herbert Stachowiak’s general model theory. Hope to see more about it. Recently I am working very hard to write some papers before my deadline, so, less to go to the web community and my blog. This is a piece of my note to general modeling theory that related Stachowiak’s properties of model.)


About TY

interested in models & modeling, software, information systems, applications & engineering for enterprises


2 thoughts on “Simplification (Abbreviation, Reduction) is Not the Essential Feature for Concept of Model

  1. Hmm, good point. How far as I understood/ understand “model as use” it corresponds to Mapping + Pragmatism without Reduction.

    1. ok, the copy case can be seen as special case of zero reduction, right?
    2. Without Reduction, could a “Model” (in the meaning “Model as use”) be as well some kind of metaphor then? (Like when you explain sth by an example of sth else “electricity in a wire behaves like water in a pipe”)


    Posted by modelpractice | July 5, 2012, 02:18
    • On model as use, it is not necessary to “mapping”, too. some sort of models are not mapping to the objects – if we are a little strict to the use of “mapping”.
      To 1.: right;
      To 2.: “model as use” does not exclude reduction, mapping as well. It is compatible with different types of model – seems all the types of model I see, so far :-)
      BTW, in fact, the (M, O, K, t, Z) seems very consistent with Model as Use. I’ll soon make a explanation on the blog.

      Posted by TY | July 5, 2012, 08:07

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