A Primer for Model-Based Systems Engineering

Vitech is pleased to announce the electronic publication of our MBSE Primer. The document in its entirety can be downloaded below.

A Primer for Model-Based Systems Engineering

The primer addresses the basic concepts of model-based systems engineering. It covers the Model, Language, Behavior, Process, Architecture and Verification and Validation. It is a call to the consideration of the foundational principles behind those concepts. It is not designed to present novel insights into MBSE so much as to provide a guided tour of the touchstones of systems design. It is a guide to the new MBSE acolyte and a reminder to the experienced practitioner. It is suitable for use by a systems engineer new to the practice of “model-based” systems engineering, an experienced systems engineer who has been introduced to “model-based” concepts in an ad hoc fashion or by any professional knowledgeable of systems thinking and practice. It is not intended as a comprehensive guide or as practice handbook.

Why such a basic approach? Without this grounding it can become easy to lose the sense of relationship between techniques and the design itself. For example, reading and pondering the sections on Models and Language bring into focus the difference between representations of the model and the model itself. A map may be an extensive, informative and important representation of the underlying terrain represented but it is simply that- a representation. Likewise, a set of diagrams may be useful, clear and detailed but they are not the model of the system itself. Without returning to the concepts of model, language, process and behavior we can easily become mistakenly convinced that the process of drafting a “full set” of representations is the same thing as constructing a model. It is in understanding the basics that we understand the distinctions.

The importance of knowing and executing the basics is the driving force behind this primer. It is the reason for not beginning with a collection of essays on more advanced topics. This revisiting of the basic aspects of model-based systems engineering (MBSE) is the foundation and the first step of our journey to advance the cause of sound systems design. We look forward to your comments and your company as we journey onward. We have dedicated a section of our Forums to facilitate the opportunity for discussion.

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