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A context model is used to define the enclosing environment of some system under study. In other words, the context is the surrounding element for the system, and a model provides the mathematical interface and a behavioral description of the surrounding environment.
The Unified Modeling Language as used in systems engineering defines a context model as the physical scope of the system being designed, which could include the user as well as the environment and other actors. A System context diagram represents the context graphically..
Several examples of context models occur under other domains.
- In the situation of parsing a grammar, a context model defines the surrounding text of a lexical element. This enables a context sensitive grammar that can have deterministic or stochastic rules. In the latter case, a hidden Markov model can provide the probabilities for the surrounding context.
- A context model can also apply to the surrounding elements in a gene sequence. Like the context rules of a grammar disambiguating a lexical element, this helps to disambiguate the role of the gene.
- Within an ontology, a context model provides disambiguation of a subject via semantic analysis of information related to the subject.
- In terms of a physical environment, a context model defines the external interfaces that a system will interact with. This type of context model has been used to create models for virtual environments such as the Adaptive Vehicle Make program. A context model used during design defines land, aquatic, or atmospheric characteristics (stated in terms of mathematical algorithms or a simulation) that the eventual product will face in the real environment.
- Klein, Dan, and Christopher D. Manning. "A generative constituent-context model for improved grammar induction." In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting on Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 128-135. Association for Computational Linguistics, 2002.
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- Wang, Xiao Hang; Zhang, D. Qing; Gu, Tao; Pung, Hung Keng (2004). "Ontology based context modeling and reasoning using OWL". Proceedings of the Second IEEE Annual Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (IEEE): 18–22. CiteSeerX: 10.1.1.3.9626.
- Gu, Tao; Wang, Xiao Hang; Pung, Hung Keng; Zhang, Da Qing (2004). "An ontology-based context model in intelligent environments". Proceedings of communication networks and distributed systems modeling and simulation conference 2004: 270–275.
- Component, Context, and Manufacturing Model Library – 2 (C2M2L-2), Broad Agency Announcement, DARPA-BAA-12-30, February 24, 2012