A Conceptual Framework for Consistency Management in Model-Based Systems Engineering

TitleA Conceptual Framework for Consistency Management in Model-Based Systems Engineering
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHerzig, S. J. I., A. Qamar, A. Reichwein, and C. J. J. Paredis
Conference NameProc. ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conf. & Computers and Information in Engineering Conf.
Date PublishedAug.
Keywordsconsistency, consistency management, formal modeling, mbse, model-based systems engineering

Developing complex engineering systems requires the consolidation of models from a variety of domains such as economics, mechanics and software engineering. These models are typically created using differing formalisms and by stakeholders that have varying views on the same problem statement. The challenging question is: what is needed to make sure that all of these different models remain consistent during the design process? A review of the related literature reveals that this is still an open challenge and has not yet been investigated at a fundamental level within the context of Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE). Therefore, this paper specifically focuses on examining the fundamentals of consistency management. We show that some inconsistencies cannot be detected and come to the conclusion that it is impossible to say whether or not a system is fully consistent. In this paper, we first introduce a mathematical foundation to define consistency in a formal manner. A decision-based approach to design is then studied and applied to the development of a real-world example. The research reveals several distinct types of inconsistencies that can occur during the design and development of a system. We show that these inconsistencies can be further classified into two groups: internal and external consistency. From these insights, the ontology of inconsistencies is constructed. Finally, requirements for possible tool support and methods to identify and manage specific types of consistency issues are proposed.

Submitted by sherzig on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 11:04pm