Qualitative Modeler

The qualitative model view is a concept map patterned after VModel[cite]. This view permits you to edit and inspect models of qualitative influences between physical quantities. The knowledge base contains concepts corresponding to physical processes, including natural laws, principles and effects. These processes are represented in terms of their physical quantities and qualitative relations between them. The qualitative model view provides the ability to edit and elaborate these relationships visually. Changes to these modes are stored persistently in the knowledge base.

Qualitative Modeler

The model viewer consists of two panels. On the left is the library panel which contains component types that may be added to the model. On the right is the modeling panel which contains the current instantiation of the model. The component quantities and influences on the modeling panel can be dragged and deleted (cut) using the scissors tool on the toolbar.

Most physical processes in the metaengineering ontology have quantity types associated, but only a few currently have fully fleshed-out qualititive models. To build a model, drag the quantity instances to arrange them in a pattern that more or less reflects the causal flow. To create an influence relationship, click on the relationship type in the library panel on the left, then click on the source quantity in the modeling panel, and then click on the destination quantity in the modeling panel. To cancel this operation in the middle, press the escape key.

The quantities in the modeling panel are instances of quantity types. For each quantity type associated with a concept, an initial instance is created automatically. If a process relates more than one instance of a given quantity type, additional instances can be created by clicking on the quantity type in the library panel, then clicking on the modeling panel to instantiate it.

The initial name for quantity instances is simpy the database id of the quantity. This can be changed by selecting and over-typing the quantity name field in the modeling panel. The bottom field retains the type of th equantity (and by inference, the dimension). Eventually, the name will accept MathML presentation code, so that the connection between models and equations will be more explicit.

The purpose of the qualitative model view is ultimately to permit retrieval and knowledge acquisition via the similarity of processes or operating principles. To do this, it is necessary the causal structure of processes in an abstract and qualitative way. Where more quantitative relationships are appropriate and available, the equation view may be employed.