Modeling Paradigms

(based on [FR05c])

This issue contains three papers in its regular section and includes a special section that consists of extended versions of the best papers from the “St.Eve” (State versus Event-based Modeling) Workshop. In the state-based modeling paradigm, behavior is conceptualized and described in terms of state changes. Behavior in data intensive applications (e.g., business systems) and in control intensive systems (e.g., embedded controllers) fit well in this paradigm. Event-based modeling is particularly suited to describing systems in terms of interactions across their constituent interfaces in the early development phases (e.g., in requirements and high-level architecture phases). Focusing on interactions across interfaces in the early phases is good practice. It allows a developer to abstract out irrelevant internal details while gaining an early understanding of required interactions and constraints on how parts interact in an application. The focus on understanding interactions across interfaces in the early stages can also lead to early convergence of stable application architectures.

State and event-based modeling paradigms are not the only paradigms that are used when modeling software based systems and their context. For example, neither approach is well-suited to modeling workflows. In addition, physical or logical distribution and deployment, and threads of activity cannot be adequately described using events or states. It should not come as a surprise that the development of an application may require the use of multiple modeling paradigms. Integrating multiple modeling paradigms is one of the great challenges of model-drive development. An effective integration must be based on a deep understanding of the relationships among modeling paradigms. Workshops such as “St.Eve” help the community develop such an understanding.

This essay is essentially taken from a SoSyM editorial, which is published under the Creative Commons licence and contains some updates:

  1. [FR05c]
    R. France, B. Rumpe:
    In: Journal Software and Systems Modeling (SoSyM), Volume 4(3), pp. 233, Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, 2005.