Monday, May 05, 2008

Modeling: More with less 

Discipline and punishment
The practical result of such an approach (as anybody who's ever spent too much time with a UML design tool will attest) is an explosion of types and relationships that taken together in all its immensity actually provides very little insight into the problem at hand. The final model isn't any simpler than the original problem and so it's worse-than-useless; newcomers will now have difficulty understanding both the problem and the model.

The goal of modelling is to produce something substantially simpler than the world. This is achieved not through endlessly inventing new types and relationships -- in fact, it's just the opposite. It's by eliminating entities and restricting types that we get a model that's simpler than the world and thus useful. After all the goal is to do more with less.

Topics: modeling | complexity

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