The term Hierarchical Model covers a broad concept spectrum. It often refers to a lot of set ups like Multi-Level models where there are various levels of information or data all related be some larger form.
The Hierarchical model is similar to the Network model; it displays a collection of records in trees, rather then arbitrary graphs.
Here is an example of on type of conventional Hierarchical model:
You can see from the above figure that the supplementing information or details branch out from the main or core topic, creating a “tree” like form. This allows for a visual relationship of each aspect and enables the user to track how the data is related.
There are many other ways to create this type of model, this is one of the simplest and is used the most often.
An example of information you would use the Hierarchical model to record would be the levels within an organization, the information would flow such as:
So the Hierarchical model for this scenario would look closely like the one below. As you can see this model is substantially larger, the benefit of the Hierarchical model is that it allows for a continuous growth, though it can take up a lot of room.
With each addition of data a new branch on the “tree” is formed, adding to the information as a whole as well as the size.
Hierarchical models allow for a visual parent/ child relationship between data sets, organizational information, or even mathematics.
The idea for these models is to begin with the smallest details, in the example above that would be the sections.
From the smallest details you would move up (it is often easiest to think of the model as a hierarchy) to the subdivisions, above the subdivisions you find departments, and finally ending at one “parent” the organization.
Once finished you can sit back and view the entire “family” of data and clearly distinguish how it is related.
Next Page: Hierarchical Model Usage