Concept

Modularity

Résumé
Broadly speaking, modularity is the degree to which a system's components may be separated and recombined, often with the benefit of flexibility and variety in use. The concept of modularity is used primarily to reduce complexity by breaking a system into varying degrees of interdependence and independence across and "hide the complexity of each part behind an abstraction and interface". However, the concept of modularity can be extended to multiple disciplines, each with their own nuances. Despite these nuances, consistent themes concerning modular systems can be identified. The meaning of the word "modularity" can vary somewhat based on context. The following are contextual examples of modularity across several fields of science, technology, industry, and culture: In biology, modularity recognizes that organisms or metabolic pathways are composed of modules. In ecology, modularity is considered a key factor—along with diversity and feedback—in supporting resilience. In nature, modularity may refer to the construction of a cellular organism by joining together standardized units to form larger compositions, as for example, the hexagonal cells in a honeycomb. In cognitive science, the idea of modularity of mind holds that the mind is composed of independent, closed, domain-specific processing modules. Visual modularity, the various putative visual modules. Language module, the putative language module. In the study of complex networks, modularity is a benefit function that measures the quality of a division of a network into groups or communities. In modular programming, modularity refers to the compartmentalization and interrelation of the parts of a software package. In software design, modularity refers to a logical partitioning of the "software design" that allows complex software to be manageable for the purpose of implementation and maintenance. The logic of partitioning may be based on related functions, implementation considerations, data links, or other criteria.
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