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Principles and tools

Empirical Modelling describes the characteristics of a construal with reference to three key concepts: observables, dependencies and agents. A construal can be seen as embodying patterns of observables, dependencies and agency that are characteristics of the situation that is being construed.

A major feature of EM is the use of sets of definitions - definitive scripts - as a means of representing state-as-experienced. This has much in common with the principle of using definitions to record dependencies in a spreadsheet. In applying EM to concurrent systems, this is complemented by observation-oriented modelling, which makes use of the notation LSD and its part-manual, part-automated interpretation in the Abstract Definitive Machine.

A number of special-purpose tools, by way of interpreters and APIs, have been developed to support EM. The most extensively used EM tool so far developed is the EDEN interpreter, which has been the principal basis for most of the practical work on EM to date. EDEN exists in three principal variants, intended for text-based interaction, line-drawing and window management, and distributed use. For more details of EDEN, and other EM tools, consult the Software pages.