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Model-Based Engineering Visual Glossary

The following Model-Based Engineering definitions are excerpted from the Model-Based Engineering Visual Glossary (Draft), a work-in-progress, and are reproduced by permission.

LEXICO’GRAPHER. n.s. [? lixicographe, French.] A writer of dictionories; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words. — Samuel Johnson

The partial lexicon distinguishes among the various "Model-Driven" and "Model-Based" acronym expressions as well as related modeling terms that are commonly confused. Please contact us regarding additions or corrections, or to request more information about the MBE Visual Glossary project.

Selected Definitions from Model-Based Engineering Visual Glossary (Draft)
Section "M"

Term
Definition
model
Stacks Image 187
(noun)
Definition: A representation of an object or system of interest. A Model has a well-defined abstraction boundary, sometimes referred to as a System Boundary, which defines what is inside and outside the scope of the subject system. The complexity of large models is sometimes managed by projections on the model elements they contain, where the projections are called Views, which are defined from the perspectives (Viewpoints) of various system stakeholders.

Usage: The term Model is commonly used in all mainstream visual modeling languages (e.g., UML, SysML, BPMN) as well as various other non-visual modeling languages. The concepts and terms Model, View, and Viewpoints are often conflated and used inconsistently among vendors, methodologists, users, and standards organizations.
  • UML/SysML Usage: A Model is a Stereotype of Package that represents an object or system of interest. Standard notation is a Package folder icon labeled with the keyword «model» and/or a triangle glyph in the folder tab or upper right region. (See UML/SysML illustration on the left.)
  • Views vs. Viewpoints: Terminology used above to explain Model Views and Viewpoints is compatible with ANSI/ISO 1471 and ISO ... and SysML, but the semantics for these terms is reversed in other standards, such as ISO ... . See definitions of View and Viewpoint for details.

See: abstraction, modeling, model-based, model-driven, system boundary, visual model
Compare: view, viewpoint
model-based
(adjective)
Definition: An umbrella term that describes a technology approach where rigorous visual modeling principles and techniques form the technical foundation for an engineering or development process in order to increase its efficiency and productivity.

Examples:
  • The team applied model-based technologies to remedy the inefficiencies of our traditional, document-based, code-centric approach.
  • Our model-based process applied a pragmatic subset of SysML diagram techniques to the project.

Synonyms: model-driven

Usage: The generic term model-based is often used as the prefix for acronym expressions that describe technologies that emphasize rigorous visual modeling techniques principles and best practices as their foundational concepts. Compare and contrast with the more specialized term model-driven, which tends to be more software-centric.

Notation: N/A

See: Model-Based Engineering, Model-Based Systems Engineering.
Compare: model-driven
Model-Based Engineering (MBE)
(noun + acronym)
Definition: 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 rigorous visual modeling principles and techniques it applies form the technical foundation of the SDLC approach. In comparison, a development paradigm is model-driven to the extent that it pushes or propels (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 sub-disciplines: 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.

Examples:
  • The team applied a Model-Based Engineering approach to remedy the inefficiencies of our traditional, document-based, code-centric approach.
  • The Model-Based Engineering process applied a pragmatic subset of UML and BPMN diagram techniques to the project.

Synonyms: Model-Driven Engineering, Model-Driven Development.

Usage: Although there is considerable semantic overlap between the terms Model-Based Engineering and Model-Driven Engineering, the former is more generic than the latter, since the latter tends to be more software-centric and emphasizes propelling (i.e., driving) the System Development Life Cycle via models.

Notation: N/A

See: model-based, Model-Based Systems Engineering
Compare: Model-Driven Engineering (MDE)
Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE)
(noun + acronym)
Definition: A Model-Based Engineering sub-discipline that specializes in Systems Engineering applications. Model-Based Systems Engineering emphasizes that application of model-based technologies to Systems Engineering activities during the System Development Life Cycle, such as requirements analysis and verification, functional analysis and allocations, performance analysis, trade studies, and system architecture specification.

Usage:
The term Model-Based Systems Engineering is popular among Systems Engineers who advocate the use of SysML as a standard visual modeling language for Systems Engineering applications, and who want to distinguish their approach from Model-Driven Development and its variants, which tend to be software centric.

Notation:
N/A

See: model-based, Model-Based Engineering (MBE)
Compare: model-driven, document-based, code-centric
model-driven
(adjective)
Definition: An umbrella term that describes a technology approach where rigorous visual modeling principles and techniques push or propel (i.e., "drive") an engineering or development process to order to increase its efficiency and productivity.

Examples:
  • The team applied model-driven technologies to remedy the inefficiencies of our traditional, document-based, code-centric development approach.
  • Our model-driven process applied a pragmatic subset of UML diagram techniques to the project.

Synonyms: model-based

Usage: The term model-driven is often used as the prefix for acronym expressions that describe technologies which apply rigorous visual modeling techniques principles and best practices to push or propel their software development processes. Compare and contrast with the more generic term model-based, which tends to be less software-centric.

Notation: N/A

See: Model-Driven Development, Model-Driven Engineering
Compare: model-based
model-driven architecture
(noun)
Definition: A software or system architecture that is derived from a model-driven engineering or development process.

Examples:
  • The team's model-driven architecture model complied with the OMG's MDA standards.
  • We specified our model-driven architecture model using ArchiMate and the Acme visual modeling tool.
Synonyms: model-driven system architecture, model-based architecture

Usage: The term model-driven architecture (lowercase, hyphenated) and its variants can be applied to software and systems architectures that may, or may not, apply OMG modeling standard technologies. Compare and contrast Model Driven Architecture, which is specialized and trademarked by the OMG.

Notation: N/A

Usage:
The term model-driven architecture is a linguistic blending of the terms "model-driven" and "software architecture" or "system architecture".

Notation: N/A

See: model-driven, system architecture, software architecture
Compare: Model Driven Architecture
Model Driven Architecture (MDA)
(noun + acronym)
Definition: A term trademarked by the Object Management Group (OMG) to brand architectures developed using its modeling standards which include, but are not limited to, UML, OMG SysML, BPMN, XMI, and MOF. See OMG web (www.omg.org) for details.

Examples:
  • The team's system architecture model complied with the OMG's Model Driven Architecture standards.
  • We specified our model-driven architecture using ArchiMate and the Acme visual modeling tool.

Synonyms: Model-Driven Software Engineering

Usage: Originally OMG's Model Driven Architecture term was software centric, but it has broadened in scope after the OMG's adoption of OMG SysML.

Notation: N/A

See: model-driven, system architecture, software architecture
Compare: model-driven architecture
Model-Driven Development (MDD)
(noun + acronym)
Definition: A Model-Based Engineering sub-discipline that specializes in software-intensive applications. Model-Driven Development emphasizes the application of model-driven technologies to software development activities during the Software Development Life Cycle, such as requirements analysis, software analysis, software design, implementation, testing, and deployment.

Usage:
The term Model-Driven Development is popular among Software Developers and Software Engineers who advocate the use of UML as an Architecture Description Language for their software-intensive applications, and who want to practice Round-Trip Engineering.

Notation:
N/A

See: model-driven, Model-Driven Engineering, Model-Driven Software Engineering
Compare: Model-Based Engineering
Model-Driven Engineering (MDE)
(noun + acronym)
Definition: An umbrella term that describes model-driven technology approaches to a broad range of engineering activities including, but not limited to, Software Engineering and Systems Engineering.
Usage: Although there is considerable semantic overlap between the terms Model-Driven Engineering and Model-Based Engineering, the former is more specific than the latter since it: 1) emphasizes propelling (i.e., "driving") engineering or development processes; and 2) tends to be more software-centric in usage.
Notation: N/A

See: model-driven, Model-Driven Development, Model-Driven Software Engineering
Compare: Model-Based Engineering
Model-Driven Software Engineering (MDSE)
(noun + acronym)
Synonyms: Model-Driven Development

See: Model-Driven Development
model element
(noun)
Definition: An constituent part of a model. A model element may be an entity, a relationship, a constraint, or a model extension such as a stereotype or a tagged value.

Usage:
The term model element can be applied to any arbitrary part of a model.

Notation:
N/A

See: model, entity, relationship, constraint, stereotype, tagged value
model library
Stacks Image 413
(noun)
Definition: A group of model elements that are intended to be reused in other models. A model library in a modeling language is analogous to a class library in a programming language.

Usage:
The term model library is used to identify specific model elements for reuse.

Notation:
UML/SysML: A Package folder icon labeled with the keyword «modelLibrary» in the folder tab. (See graphic example.)

See: model
Compare: UML/SysML:Profile
modeling
(noun)
Definition: The practice or occupation of a person who creates and manipulates models.
Usage: The term modeling is broad in scope and it applies to a wide range of activities associated with visual and non-visual modeling languages.
Notation: N/A

See: visual modeling
model interchange
(noun)
Definition: The ability to exchange models between tools, as when a model Z is exported from modeling tool A and imported into tool B without loss of information from model Z, including all of its model elements and diagram layouts.
Usage: UML/SysML: Vendors frequently claim UML/SysML model interchange capabilities using XMI (XML Metadata Interchange) format, where XMI model interchange is notoriously unreliable, especially for diagram layouts.
Notation: N/A

See: XMI
Muddle Driven Marketecture
(noun)
Definition: An anti-pattern (worst practice) that occurs when model-driven technologies are overhyped and under-delivered by tool vendors or evangelists, and are subsequently overbought and misapplied by wannabe modeling experts or methodologists.
Usage: The term Muddle Driven Marketecture should be applied to tool vendors or evangelists who overhype and under-deliver model-driven technologies.
Notation: N/A

See: anti-pattern
Compare: Model-Driven Tarchitecture, Silver Bullet syndrome