Conrad E. Bock, Fatma Dandashi, Sanford Friedenthal, Natalie Harrison, Steven Jenkins, Leon McGinnis, Janos Sztipanovits, Adelinde Uhrmacher, Eric Weisel, Lin Zhang
Understanding and developing complex systems requires collaboration between individuals with widely varying expertise. Communication between these individuals is facilitated by conceptual models. Conceptual models are early stage artifacts that integrate and provide requirements for many kinds of specialized models. They are living documents that grow from informal descriptions to formal specifications, used to detect omissions, inconsistencies, and ambiguities inherent in informal models, as well as guide development of computational models. Conceptual models describe what is to be represented, the assumptions limiting those representations, and other capabilities needed to satisfy modeler requirements. Advances in conceptual modeling are essential for effective collaboration and cost-effective, error-free translation of models to suitable computer representations. Developing an engineering discipline of conceptual modeling will require much better understanding of (1) how to make conceptual models explicit and unambiguous, for both the target system and the target analysis, (2) processes for conceptual modeling, including communication and decision-making involving multiple stakeholders, (3) architectures and services for building conceptual models. This chapter outlines research issues for these three topics in conceptual modeling.
Research Challenges in Modeling and Simulation for Engineering Complex Systems