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Model-Based Engineering FAQ – What is Model-Based Engineering?

  • What is Model-Based Engineering (MBE)?
    Model-Based Engineering (MBE), a.k.a., Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) and Model-Driven Development (MDD), is a software and systems development paradigm that emphasizes the application of visual modeling principles and best practices throughout the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Since the terms model-based and model-driven are commonly conflated in the context of MBE and MDE technologies, we will disambiguate between them here. The Model-Based Engineering paradigm is model-based to the extent that the visual modeling artifacts that it generates are sufficiently precise and complete that they can serve as a software or systems blueprint for improving SDLC efficiency and productivity. The paradigm is model-driven to the extent that it at least partially automates (i.e., "drives") the SDLC via requirements that are precisely and completely specified as part of the system model, and which can be fully traced across the SDLC.

    Model-Based Engineering is an umbrella term that subsumes several subdisciplines: Model-Driven Development (MDD), which focuses on software-intensive applications; Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE), which focuses on Systems Engineering applications; Business Process Modeling (BPM), which focuses on Business Analysis applications; and Ontology Engineering, which focuses on Knowledge Engineering applications.

    Model-Based Engineering principles and best practices continue to evolve evolve. The following are some additional desirable characteristics of Model-Based Engineering approaches:
    • emphasizes a precise and complete System Architecture Model "blueprint", organized as an Architecture Framework with multiple Views/Viewpoints, as the primary work artifact throughout the System Development Life Cycle (SDLC);
    • ensures that the System Architecture Model is requirements-driven to the extent that all model elements must be fully traceable to system and user requirements;
    • ensures that the System Architecture Model is architecture-centric to the extent that all model elements must maintain structural and functional integrity relationships, and support full derivation traceablity across all system stakeholder Views and Viewpoints; and
    • combines traditional Software Development and Systems Engineering best practices with visual modeling best practices.

    Model-Based/Architecture-Centric vs. Document-Based/Code-Centric System Development
    Model-Based/Architecture-Centric vs. Document-Based/Code-Centric System Development

    Reproduced by Permission © 2003-2012 PivotPoint Technology Corp.



    The major advantages of an Model-Based Engineering approach are summarized in the table below.

    Model-Based Engineering Advantages
    Model-Based Engineering Advantages

    Reproduced by Permission © 2003-2012 PivotPoint Technology Corp.


  • What are the major types (subdisciplines) of Model-Based Engineering?
    There are at least three mature subdisciplines of Model-Based Engineering:
  • What is the relationship between Model-Based Engineering (MBE) and other Model-Driven/Model-Based acronym expressions (MDD, MDSE, MDE, MDA, MBE)?
    Model-Based Engineering (MBE) is frequently confused with several other acronym expressions that begin with either "Model-Based" or "Model-Driven". The include, but are not limited to: Model-Driven Engineering (MDE), Model-Driven Software Engineering (MDSE), Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and Model Driven Architecture.

    The following UML diagram illustrates a graphic taxonomy of Model-Based/Model-Driven terms that are commonly conflated. For natural language definitions of these MBE terms and others see the Model-Based Engineering Visual Glossary.


    Model-Based Engineering Taxonomy: MBE Subdisciplines

    Reproduced by Permission © 2003-2012 PivotPoint Technology Corp.


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