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There are two tags and that broadly speaking address questions where the main goal is to find the right mathematical model for a scenario. I was trying to figure out how to tag this question, and while I ultimately decided on , I wasn't entirely sure what the appropriate tag is.

Looking over the two tags, I still didn't get a clear idea what they represent. Possibly, formal-modeling is about modeling systems (i.e automata, petri nets, etc etc) and network modeling is about modeling networks (social, internet, etc), but even that's not entirely consistent in the current set of questions.

Thoughts ?

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network-modeling is a subset of formal-modeling . So every question that belongs in network modeling could also refer to formal modeling. Having studied graph theory in my undergraduate program and talking with networks people, I have understood that modeling and simulation is very important for networks, since a network that does not have a good practical performance is useless, even if its asymptotic complexity is linear.

From my experience, I have deduced that network modeling consists of specific tools like graph theory and queue theory. While formal modeling is usually done to understand a physical system via its mathematical abstract, like in classical mechanics (physics), network modeling works the other way, studying the performance of algorithms and techniques in a simulation or even in a small scale network, thus allowing the researches to have a common reference to measure performance of a network with respect to various factors.

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  • $\begingroup$ So the formal modeling tag is really FM - NM ? $\endgroup$ – Suresh Venkat Apr 21 '11 at 2:32
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose so, although I guess some users could use both tags in a NM question. $\endgroup$ – chazisop Apr 22 '11 at 10:27

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