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Conceptual Modeling Techniques for Use Within the DoD Acquisition Community

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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Conceptual modeling is a representation of a real-world system which communicates how the system works based on the interactions and relationships of the smaller subsystems. Conceptual modeling is the first step in the modeling and simulation process critical to creating an effective computer simulation. The Department of Defense has identified modeling and simulation as a vital part of the acquisition process of current and future military equipment procurement. Through modeling and simulation, complex and technologically advanced systems can be simulated using computer simulation which results in cost savings and the highest quality of equipment procured to meet the mission. The conceptual model is the guiding tool of the modeling and simulation process. This paper follows a building process from understanding some philosophical and cognitive foundations of thinking conceptually, to what it means to be considered more art than science, and on to techniques of building models. The techniques of visual, spatial, and abstract are shown as well as how establishing which environment the model is operating in whether physical, informational, or virtual is important. The objective of this overall examination of conceptual modeling is intended to provide foundational concepts for anyone interested in creating conceptual models for use in the modeling and simulation process.

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