Skip to main content

Models as Documents, Documents as Models

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS,volume 13702)


In software engineering, documentation and models are both broad concepts which attract varying approaches and attitudes. Moreover, as the title indicates, they overlap: in some circumstances, an artefact thought of as a model can serve to document a software project, while in others, an artefact thought of as a document can be manipulated by model-driven engineering tools just like any other kind of model. In this short paper we briefly explore these issues and provide pointers to some of the relevant literature.


  • Documentation
  • Programming
  • Modelling

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-19756-7_3
  • Chapter length: 7 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   64.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-031-19756-7
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)


  1. 1.


  1. Aghajani, E., et al.: Software documentation: the practitioners’ perspective. In: Rothermel, G., Bae, D.-H. (eds.) ICSE 2020: 42nd International Conference on Software Engineering, Seoul, South Korea, June 27 - July 19 2020, pp. 590–601. ACM (2020)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Anderson, T., Quach, K.: GitHub copilot auto-coder snags emerge, from seemingly spilled secrets to bad code, but some love it. (2021)

  3. Camilleri, J.J., Schneider, G.: Modelling and analysis of normative documents. J. Log. Algebraic Methods Program. 91, 33–59 (2017)

    CrossRef  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  4. Chen, P.P.: The entity-relationship model - toward a unified view of data. ACM Trans. Database Syst. 1(1), 9–36 (1976)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  5. Cybersprint: Swagger API: discovery of API data and security flaws. (2020)

  6. Daniels, J.: Modeling with a sense of purpose. IEEE Softw. 19(1), 8–10 (2002)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. de Jong, M., et al.: Terms of service; didn’t read. (2011)

  8. Ericsson, M., Wingkvist, A., Löwe, W.: The design and implementation of a software infrastructure for IQ assessment. Int. J. Inf. Qual. 3(1), 49–70 (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Fowler, M.: UmlAsBlueprint. (2003)

  10. Fowler, M.: UmlMode. (2003)

  11. Howard, J.: Is github copilot a blessing, or a curse? (2021)

  12. Ralphson, M.: What we learned from 200,000 OpenAPI files. (2021)

  13. Sferruzza, D.: Plateforme extensible de modélisation et de construction d’applications web correctes et évolutives, avec hypothèse de variabilité. (Towards an extensible framework for modelling and implementing correct and evolutive web applications, under variability hypothesis), Ph. D thesis, University of Nantes, France (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  14. Sferruzza, D.: Top-down model-driven engineering of web services from extended OpenAPI models. In: Huchard, M., Kästner, C., Fraser, G. (eds.) Proceedings of the 33rd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering, ASE 2018, Montpellier, France, 3–7 September 2018, pp. 940–943. ACM (2018)

    Google Scholar 

  15. Steffen, B., Gossen, F., Naujokat, S., Margaria, T.: Language-driven engineering: from general-purpose to purpose-specific languages. In: Steffen, B., Woeginger, G. (eds.) Computing and Software Science. LNCS, vol. 10000, pp. 311–344. Springer, Cham (2019).

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  16. Wilson, S., et al.: The creation and analysis of a website privacy policy corpus. In: Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2016, 7–12 August 2016, Berlin, Germany, vol. 1: Long Papers. The Association for Computer Linguistics (2016)

    Google Scholar 

  17. Zurcher, F.W., Randell, B.: Iterative multi-level modelling. a methodology for computer system design. In: Morrel, A.J.H., (ed.) Information Processing, Proceedings of IFIP Congress 1968, Edinburgh, UK, 5–10 August 1968, vol. 2 - Hardware, Applications, pp. 867–871 (1968)

    Google Scholar 

Download references


I thank the anonymous reviewers for insightful comments, questions and pointers to relevant literature.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Perdita Stevens .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this paper

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this paper

Stevens, P. (2022). Models as Documents, Documents as Models. In: Margaria, T., Steffen, B. (eds) Leveraging Applications of Formal Methods, Verification and Validation. Software Engineering. ISoLA 2022. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 13702. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-19755-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-19756-7

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)