Toward a Logical/Physical Theory of Spreadsheet Modeling
50 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2008
Date Written: July 1993
In spite of the increasing sophistication and power of commercial spreadsheetpackages, we still lack a formal theory or a methodology to support the constructionand maintenance of spreadsheet models. Using a dual logical/physicalperspective, we identify four principal components that characterize any spreadsheetmodel: schema, data, editorial, and binding. We present a factoringalgorithm for identifying and extracting these components from conventionalspreadsheets with minimal user intervention, and a synthesis algorithm that assistsusers in the construction of executable spreadsheets from reusable modelcomponents. This approach opens new possibilities for applying object-orientedand model management techniques to support the construction, sharing, andreuse, of spreadsheet models in organizations. Importantly, our approach tomodel management and the Windows-based prototype that we have developedare designed to coexist with, rather than replace, traditional spreadsheet programs.In other words, the users are not required to learn a new modelinglanguage; instead, their logical models and data sets are extracted from theirspreadsheets transparently, as a side-effect of using standard spreadsheet program.
Keywords: Model Management
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