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Software Engineering Meets Systems Engineering: Conceptual Modeling Applied to Engineering Operations


Sabah Al-Fedaghi and Mahdi Modhaffar


Vol. 21  No. 10  pp. 329-342


Models are fundamentally crucial to many scientific fields, including software engineering, systems engineering, enterprise modeling, and business modeling. This paper focuses on diagrammatic conceptual modeling, as opposed to mathematical or computational models, wherein a conceptual model is a translation of reality processes into an abstract mechanism that has similar structure and parallel events of the external processes. Although various modeling approaches exist, including UML (Unified Modeling Language) in software engineering and its dialect, SysML (System Modeling Language), in systems engineering, several difficulties arise in such models, including the problem of model multiplicity that is related to the lack an integrated view of structure and behavior. This paper generalizes conceptual modeling to be applied in organizations at large. According to authorities, the so-called organization theory portrays organizations as machine-like systems. As a machine, an organization coordinates its parts to transform inputs into outputs. Therefore, we synthesize the notion of an organization as a machine and apply a new modeling methodology called thinging machine (TM) to real engineering operations. The results show the viability of the TM methodology serving as a foundation for high-level modelling of systems.


Conceptual model; systems modeling; organization as a machine; software requirements analysis