Engineering Process: Fault Lines (P3)

Welcome to the home stretch! In today’s post we finish up the engineering process for the fault insertion. We left the last post with three outstanding questions; in todays post, I will walk through the design decisions that I made in implementing this solution.

  • How much of the tool should be automated?
  • What is the end user responsible for implementing?
  • How do we make this scalable?

Automation and scalability

The weak point in this solution revolves around the naming and maintaining the fault injection names; e.g., as the end user adds new “faults” into the system there is a need to create and define the global data, ensure that it is unique, and add it into the test harness.

Check and define

The first two tasks are accomplished using a masked subsystem and a setup script; when the user double clicks on the fault subsystem they are prompted for a fault name. Closing the dialog will then launch a script that checks and defines the fault data.

The first step is to check to see if the variable already exists; this is done by evaluating the base workspace to see if the data is already defined. If it is a warning, dialog is generated.

If the data does not exist, we assign the names of our fault data to the data store read and data store writes inside the library subsystem.

Finally, we assign the data to the base workspace. As part of this task we inspect the incoming signals to determine the data type and dimension.

But wait!

This code takes care of what happens when you add a block. However, in the long term you are just opening up your model with the data already in place. The next step is to provide a method for saving off the data and adding it to the test harness. In the design stage I tried out methods for auto-triggering this save and add step; however all of them had potential data conflicts. In the end the solution was to provide a script that the user could run to generate the data for themselves.

Sometimes the code is simple…

What remains?

At this point with this code, our end users have the basic functionality that is required. Additionally, because of how we implemented it, the fault blocks can be inserted anywhere in the model, not just between referenced models which was one of our “stretch goals.” What remains now is the “error checking” or ruggedization tasks required to have a product out in the field standing on it’s own. That, however, will be a future set of posts.

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