This thesis is motivated by the question if there is any difference between the concept of reference models and the concept of patterns. This question is of particular interest as there is no common understanding of both concepts and their differentiation. In recent years different authors seek to identify patterns and reference models as synonyms. Other authors understand the concepts as distinct but target the same aim of presenting re-usable solutions for common problems in given contexts. In the first chapter of this thesis we collect definitions of patterns and reference models from literature and put them in comparison. From this relevant characteristics of the respective concepts are elicited. In a second step we raise hypotheses based on the characteristics. These characteristics are further used to create a framework in which patterns and reference models can be compared. We prepare our comparison by revisiting selected patterns and reference models and subsequently discuss and juxtapose their characteristics. The results of the analysis show whether there is a clear distinction between both concepts or not. In particular we discuss which hypotheses can be confirmed or refuted.
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