What's the difference between a model and an algorithm?


What's the difference between a model and an algorithm?



  • Hi @GraceP !

    A model is sometimes thought of as an "application" within a workspace. A model will contain modules, lists and actions.

    So the object hierarchy roughly looks like this: Tenant - Workspace - Model - Module - Line Item - Formula or Cell Value

    I've never seen an "algorithm" mentioned as an object in Anaplan but if you can share some details about where you heard this being used I would be glad to share what it might mean in Anaplan.




  • Hi Jared!


    Thanks for the quick response. I wasn't talking about inside the Anaplan platform but more in the abstract... Not being a technical person myself, I was just wondering if there is a material difference between a model and an algorithm, or if both could be described as a complex series of calculations based on many variables... Thank you!

  • @GraceP 

    Cool! This will be fun! We don't get many questions like this.

    So this is not a scientific explanation but just my opinion. Here comes professor Dolich!!


    So, in that case I would say a model really is meant in the abstract to be a representation of a full application containing all the functionality that serves a particular business process or use-case. That can be a statistical model, a business process model, or even a physical representation of something to be built, like a scaled model of a building.


    An algorithm, in my mind, is a tactical process to solve a particular solution like how to calculate a regression to the mean or how to calculate a percent to total. Maybe it's a subset of a model, that it might contain multiple algorithms.


    So an algorithm is result-oriented whereas a model is representational.


    Anyway, just some Friday evening rantings. 


    I have to admit that was really fun. I hope I get a good score!



  • Thank you, Jared! That helps. I will ponder this some more 🙂


    Have a great weekend,


  • @JaredDolich 


    Professor Dolich! I think you nailed it. One difference, per me, is that if the business process/use case is incorporated in single model then that model can be called as an application but if it two models together form the process then those two models together form an application and none of the model can be said as an application Individually.


    If I have to say it succinct manner - "All Applications are models but all models may not be applications"




  • @Misbah,

    Well said!

    Oh, and welcome to the Anaplan University!

    You are now officially Professor Misbah!

  • My 10 cents here,


    Algorithm is a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer. 


    Where as a model is a representation of whole/part of a business application digitally. 


    So when you try to create a model, you will use several process, set of rules in other words - Algorithms. But usually no one in Anaplan world writes an algorithm, at max we build a high level algorithm which is called as a model schema.