Research Article Open Access

Conceptual Modeling for Computer Organization and Architecture

Sabah Al-Fedaghi1
  • 1 Kuwait University, Kuwait
Journal of Computer Science
Volume 17 No. 2, 2021, 123-134

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3844/jcssp.2021.123.134

Submitted On: 10 January 2021 Published On: 22 February 2021

How to Cite: Al-Fedaghi, S. (2021). Conceptual Modeling for Computer Organization and Architecture. Journal of Computer Science, 17(2), 123-134. https://doi.org/10.3844/jcssp.2021.123.134

Abstract

Understanding computer system hardware, including how computers operate, is essential for undergraduate students in computer engineering and science. Literature shows students learning computer organization and assembly language often find fundamental concepts difficult to comprehend within the topic materials. Tools have been introduced to improve students’ comprehension of the interaction between computer architecture, assembly language and the operating system. One such tool is the Little Man Computer (LMC) model that operates in a way similar to a computer but that is easier to understand. Even though LMC does not have modern CPUs with multiple cores nor executes multiple instructions, it nevertheless shows the basic principles of the von Neumann architecture. LMC aims to introduce students to such concepts as code and instruction sets. In this study, LMC is used for an additional purpose: A tool with which to experiment using a new modeling language (i.e., a Thinging Machine; TM) in the area of computer organization and architecture without involving complexity in the subject. That is, the simplicity of LMC facilitates the application of TM without going deep into computer organization/architecture materials. Accordingly, the paper (a) provides a new way for using the LMC model for whatever purpose (e.g., education) and (b) demonstrates that TM can be used to build an abstract level of description in the organization/architect field. The resultant schematics from the TM model of LMC offer an initial case study that supports our thesis that TM is a viable method for hardware/software-independent descriptions in the computer organization and architect field of study.

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Keywords

  • Conceptual Model
  • Abstract Representation
  • Machine Organization
  • Assembly Language
  • Machine Instruction
  • Little Man Computer