A conceptual modeling environment should not be
merely usable but fun to use, so users want to use it rather
than feel compelled to do so because that’s
what they’ve been told.
conceptual modeling environment should not be
merely usable but fun to use, so users want to use it
rather than feel compelled to do so because that’s
what they’ve been told. The OPM modeling
approach has adapted this philosophy into the
OPCAT environment to cater to our cognitive abilities (dual processing), limitations (limited capacity), and needs (active processing). Dual-channel
processing is addressed through the model’s bimodal
representation. Since technically oriented people
usually prefer diagrams while others might favor
text, individuals with both preference types are able
to benefit from consulting one modality while
inspecting the other. Domain experts and executives
on the customer side should participate in eliciting
and analyzing their system requirements, but pro-grammer-oriented modeling approaches and environments bar such involvement.
Devoid of the cryptic syntax normally found in
programming languages, the OPM model is understandable to customer-side stakeholders, allowing
them to inspect the model, understand the system
they should expect, and verify that the model meets
their requirements. Switching between graphics and
text, OPM system modelers are less likely to make
costly design errors, while model readers are more
likely to comprehend the system and detect design
mistakes or omissions that might otherwise slip by.
OPM addresses our limited cognitive capacity by providing abstraction/refinement mechanisms that
enable complexity management. Active processing is
facilitated by animated simulation that helps detect
costly design errors. Further, OPL’s formality is a basis
for generating the designed application automatically.
This capability reduces the modeler’s manual translations of the modeled requirements, narrowing the gap
between requirements and implementation.
All professions and organizations today demand
lifelong learning, so designers of modeling environments must be able to account for the variety of
human preferences and learning styles. The holistic
OPM paradigm, with its intuitive implementation, is
an example of a forward-thinking approach that
could be adopted in future modeling and learning
environments. Indeed, work is under way for the
Object Management Group’s scheduled release of
SysML 2.0 in 2009 or 2010 to utilize OPM elements,
including the addition of textual representations to
SysML diagram types in order to achieve bimodal
representation for dual-channel processing. c
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DOV DORI ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate professor in the
William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management
at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
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