Structural Modeling—A Tutorial Guide

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IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics

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Structural modeling (SM) refers to those modeling activities in which the intention of the modeler is to embody the geometric rather than the algebraic, and of describing form rather than calculating or measuring quantitative output. A structural model is a diagram which consists of a set of nodes and connections between the nodes. A number of tools have been developed to assist in building and analyzing structural models. An overview of selected structural modeling tools is presented. The overview is summarized as a diagram which is itself a structural model. This “map” portrays in an organized way the relationships between 1) the basics of digraph theory (which underlies all the SM tools), 2) the extended assumptions and data required by the selected SM tools, and 3) the types of information that can be obtained about the systems being modeled in this way. It is a complex map, but a step-by-step easy-to-follow procedure is used for guiding the reader through its development. The paper is intended for both the potential and existing users of the SM methodology. A number of suggestions are given: some practical ones for the new user and some research-oriented ones for those interested in advancing the SM capabilities/applicability. © 1980 IEEE

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