Reference Model

A reference model in systems, enterprise, and software engineering is an abstract framework or domain-specific ontology consisting of an interlinked set of clearly defined concepts produced by an expert or body of experts in order to encourage clear communication. A reference model can represent the component parts of any consistent idea, from business functions to system components, as long as it represents a complete set. This frame of reference can then be used to communicate ideas clearly among members of the same community. Reference models are often illustrated as a set of concepts with some indication of the relationships between the concepts.[1]

  • A reference model presents a kind of model patterns for a certain class of aspects. It can be used to derive a specific model or for purpose of comparison. Comparing a specific model of HIS (or subsystem) with a reference model congruencies and differences may be stated and used for planning and direction of HIS.
  • A reference model is a model representing a class of domains, e.g. a reference model for production planning and control systems. It is a conceptual framework or blueprint for system’s development.
  • An abstract representation of the entities and relations within a problem space; it forms the conceptual basis to derive more concrete models from which an implementation can be developed.
  • A formal model in the form of an extended automaton used as a customized recommendation repository for an specific individual physical exercise.[2]


  1. What is Reference model Wikipedia
  2. Reference model Definitions IGI Global

Further Reading

  • Understanding Reference Models and Reference Architectures
  • Reference Models in Communication Networks Study Tonight
  • Reference Model Example IBM