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)

Architecture

The following tasks should be understood…

shellmodelint

  • 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…

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  • 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

Testing

The following tasks should be understood…
exampleHarness

  • 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…

supportingTools

  • 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…

Footnotes

(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.

BIO

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.