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.)