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Open AccessArticle

Gaining Insights into Conceptual Models: A Graph-Theoretic Querying Approach

Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 3200003, Israel
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Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020765
Received: 10 December 2020 / Revised: 3 January 2021 / Accepted: 5 January 2021 / Published: 14 January 2021
Modern complex systems include products and services that comprise many interconnected pieces of integrated hardware and software, which are expected to serve humans interacting with them. As technology advances, expectations of a smooth, flawless system operation grow. Model-based systems engineering, an approach based on conceptual models, copes with this challenge. Models help construct formal system representations, visualize them, understand the design, simulate the system, and discover design flaws early on. Modeling tools can benefit tremendously from querying capabilities that enable gaining deep insights into system aspects that direct model observations do not reveal. Querying mechanisms can unveil and explain cause-and-effect phenomena, identify central components, and estimate impacts or risks associated with changes. Being connected networks of system elements, models can be effectively represented as graphs, to which queries are applied. Capitalizing on established graph-theoretic algorithms to solve a large variety of problems can elevate the modeling experience to new levels. To utilize this rich set of capabilities, one must convert the model into a graph and store it in a graph database with no significant loss of information. Applying the appropriate algorithms and translating the query response back to the original intelligible and meaningful diagrammatic and textual model representation is most valuable. We present and demonstrate a querying approach of converting Object-Process Methodology (OPM) ISO 19450 models into graphs, storing them in a Neo4J graph database, and performing queries that answer complex questions on various system aspects, providing key insights into the modeled system or phenomenon and helping to improve the system design. View Full-Text
Keywords: Object-Process Methodology (OPM); OPM ISO 19450; model-based system engineering (MBSE); conceptual modeling; graph databases; query languages Object-Process Methodology (OPM); OPM ISO 19450; model-based system engineering (MBSE); conceptual modeling; graph databases; query languages
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MDPI and ACS Style

Medvedev, D.; Shani, U.; Dori, D. Gaining Insights into Conceptual Models: A Graph-Theoretic Querying Approach. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 765. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020765

AMA Style

Medvedev D, Shani U, Dori D. Gaining Insights into Conceptual Models: A Graph-Theoretic Querying Approach. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(2):765. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020765

Chicago/Turabian Style

Medvedev, Danny; Shani, Uri; Dori, Dov. 2021. "Gaining Insights into Conceptual Models: A Graph-Theoretic Querying Approach" Appl. Sci. 11, no. 2: 765. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020765

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