Assessing the impact of hierarchy on model understandability - A cognitive perspective

Stefan Zugal, Jakob Pinggera, Barbara Weber, Jan Mendling, Hajo A. Reijers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Modularity is a widely advocated strategy for handling complexity in conceptual models. Nevertheless, a systematic literature review revealed that it is not yet entirely clear under which circumstances modularity is most beneficial. Quite the contrary, empirical findings are contradictory, some authors even show that modularity can lead to decreased model understandability. In this work, we draw on insights from cognitive psychology to develop a framework for assessing the impact of hierarchy on model understandability. In particular, we identify abstraction and the split-attention effect as two opposing forces that presumably mediate the influence of modularity. Based on our framework, we describe an approach to estimate the impact of modularization on understandability and discuss implications for experiments investigating the impact of modularization on conceptual models. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science
Number of pages11
Volume7167
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication date2012
Pages123-133
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event14th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems - Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 16 Oct 201121 Oct 2011

Conference

Conference14th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems
CountryNew Zealand
CityWellington
Period16/10/201121/10/2011
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN0302-9743

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