Introduction to Software Engineering/Methodology

3. Subtopics

Modeling language

A modeling language is any artificial language that can be used to express information or knowledge or systems in a structure that is defined by a consistent set of rules. The rules are used for interpretation of the meaning of components in the structure. A modeling language can be graphical or textual. Graphical modeling languages use a diagram techniques with named symbols that represent concepts and lines that connect the symbols and that represent relationships and various other graphical annotation to represent constraints. Textual modeling languages typically use standardised keywords accompanied by parameters to make computer-interpretable expressions.

Example of graphical modelling languages in the field of software engineering are:

  • Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN, and the XML form BPML) is an example of a process modeling language.
  • EXPRESS and EXPRESS-G (ISO 10303-11) is an international standard general-purpose data modeling language.
  • Extended Enterprise Modeling Language (EEML) is commonly used for business process modeling across layers.
  • Flowchart is a schematic representation of an algorithm or a stepwise process,
  • Fundamental Modeling Concepts (FMC) modeling language for software-intensive systems.
  • IDEF is a family of modeling languages, the most notable of which include IDEF0 for functional modeling, IDEF1X for information modeling, and IDEF5 for modeling ontologies.
  • LePUS3 is an object-oriented visual Design Description Language and a formal specification language that is suitable primarily for modelling large object-oriented (Java, C++, C#) programs and design patterns.
  • Specification and Description Language(SDL) is a specification language targeted at the unambiguous specification and description of the behaviour of reactive and distributed systems.
  • Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a general-purpose modeling language that is an industry standard for specifying software-intensive systems. UML 2.0, the current version, supports thirteen different diagram techniques, and has widespread tool support.

Not all modeling languages are executable, and for those that are, using them doesn't necessarily mean that programmers are no longer needed. On the contrary, executable modeling languages are intended to amplify the productivity of skilled programmers, so that they can address more difficult problems, such as parallel computing and distributed systems.