Exploratory Model

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What Does Exploratory Model Mean?

The exploratory model is an experimental, research-based systems development method used to develop and design a computer system or product. The exploratory model is based on planning and reviewing potential scenarios and approaches until the one that appears to be optimal is selected. However, this method is essentially a form of educated guesswork.


The exploratory model is a type of protoyping model, but it is much more open-ended and less formal than other systems. As such, it is not always cost-effective, and there is a risk that the results of the exploratory model will be less than optimal.

Techopedia Explains Exploratory Model

To fulfill exploratory model requirements, the following best practices should be applied:

  • Step 1: A project is launched based on prior best-development efforts and designed to shed light on the system or expected algorithm.
  • Step 2: A basic model determined before the project begins is employed with information gathered during Step 1, in addition to new project development team ideas.
  • Step 3: The basic model of Step 2 is tested to determine and reinforce strengths, while improving and resolving weaknesses.
  • Step 4: Based on Steps 2 and 3, a new model is developed to include any improvements or modifications.
  • Step 5: The model is tested to evaluate performance and determine future potential improvements or modifications.
  • Step 6: The testing process is repeated throughout the project to fulfill user satisfaction and predetermined requirements.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.