Assessing your current state

During the exploration phase of adoption, the adoption team should have become familiar with the fundamentals of Model-Based Design e.g. model architecture, data dictionaries, testing, formal methods, report generation and so on. In that this blog is focused on groups adopting MBD it is a fair assumption that the current state is “introductory” (1) however the following sections can be used to identify where additional support is needed.(2)


The following tasks should be understood…


  • Encapsulation of models:  How to define each model in a format with defined interfaces and data.
  • Integration of models: How to integrate individual models into a larger integration model
  • Integration of existing code artifacts: How to integrate artifacts from the models into existing code artifacts and/or integrate code artifacts into the models

Data management

The following tasks should be understood…


  • Creation of data artifacts for use in the model: How to create data that the model can reference
  • Management of data artifacts: How to store and reference data artifacts in a scalable way.
  • Harmonizing data between model and existing code artifacts: How to reuse data between models and existing code artifacts


The following tasks should be understood…

  • Creation of test harnesses: How to create a test harness that will exercise the model in a “stand alone” method.
  • Creation of data: How to create the data used by the test harness both for input and output evaluation.
  • Creation of test evaluation methods: Creation of methods for evaluating the outputs from tests

Supporting tools

The following tasks should be understood…


  • Basic use of version control: The users should understand which files need to be placed under version control.

Final thoughts

The obvious question arises “how do I move from “introductory” to “ready?”  There are three primary methods

  1. Training: There are multiple training courses (industry) out there allowing you to learn about Model-Based Design (university).
  2. Papers: Both academic and industry papers exist to help you learn about MBD.
  3. Outside help:  Outside help can come from either hiring people with MBD experience or hiring outside consultants.
  4. All of the above…


(1) Having an introductory level of knowledge of Model-Based Design methodologies is not the same thing as an introductory level of knowledge of software development.  Most groups that adopt MBD have a strong software development background.
(2) Most of the “Why is my state so [XXX]” I understand.  However, I don’t know why Pennsilvina and Connecticut got “haunted” as their “Why.”

Establishing a Model-Based Design Process

Charles Dicken’s novel, “A Tale of Two Cities“, was originally published in a serialized format in 31 installments over 6 months. Now the book that the average 10th grade high school student reads is the refactored final product. In that spirit over the coming year, I will be writing a series of blog posts that I will later collect into a book format. As a preview here is the high level outline of the material.

  • Motivating factors: What drives people to adopt Model-Based Design and how that driving force affects the order of adoption
  • Pillars of Model-Based Design: What are the key elements that define a Model-Based Design workflow.
  • Laying the foundation: What are the first steps in establishing a culture of Model Dased Design.
  • Validating your processes: How do you assess the success and failures of your establishment process?
  • Expanding the scope of Model-Based Design activities: How and when do you ramp up on the methods used as part of the Model-Based Design workflow.
  • Deploying the process across your organization: A discussion on methods for deploying the process across your organization and how to collect feedback from the members of the group.


Michael Burke is a consultant with The MathWorks and former coordinator for the MathWorks Automotive Advisory Board (MAAB). I currently focus on Model-Based Design Process Adoption and Establishment projects. Views expressed in this article do not represent the views of The MathWorks.