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Modelling, myth vs reality, map vs territory

Taylor, Richard; Tofts, Chris


Keyword(s): modelling; representation; analysis

Abstract: Model making and manipulation, conscious or unconscious plays a major role in all of our lives. All of us perceive the world and the day to day problems we need to solve through the filters of internal models, and for better or worse, these filters affect all aspects of our interactions and our decision making. Externalising those models, either formally or informally as tools for communications and decision making is an important part of many management and engineering processes, even if the process is often implicit rather than explicit. This paper discusses the role of abstract models and their uses in the context of technical and business decisions within Hewlett Packard. The purpose of the paper is to set a context for the model based research within the SSRC, explaining what can and what can not be achieved through the use of abstract models, as well as exploring the myriad shades of grey between the two.

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