VFF: Defining Models
From economic pie charts, algorithms and supermodels to architectural prototypes and climate-change models, models are ubiquitous and increasingly powerful. Visualization is modeling by a different name. In order to better understand the strengths and weakness of models-both our own and others'-I offer a short definition that is applicable to them all. This definition depends heavily of assessments of models made by scientists, social scientists and philosophers of science. But it also posits attributes to all model-types that those folks have found controversial.