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Modeling Physical/Digital Systems: Formal Event-B vs. Diagrammatic Thinging Machine


Sabah Al-Fedaghi


Vol. 20  No. 4  pp. 208-220


Models are centrally important in many scientific fields. A model is a representation of a selected part of the world, which is the model’s target system. Here, a system consists of a software portion as a component among many others. Event-B is a modeling method for formalizing and developing systems whose components can be modeled based on set theory and first-order logic. The thinging machine (TM) is a diagram-based model establishes three levels of representation: (1) a static structural description, which is constructed upon the flow of things in five generic operations (activities i.e., create, process, release, transfer, and receive) (2) a dynamic representation, which identifies hierarchies of events based on five generic events and (3) a behavioral representation according to the chronology of events. This paper is an exercise in contrasting the formal Event-B to the diagrammatic TM. The purpose is to further understand modeling in computer science. This is motivated by the claim that computer scientists should not invent specific languages to do the modeling. Important notions such as events and behavior are contrasted, and a case study system of traffic on a bridge is modeled in Event-B and TM. The results seem to indicate the need for both modeling approaches.


Event-B conceptual model thinging machine event diagrammatic representation