Research Papers

Dependency Modeling and Model Management in Mechatronic Design

[+] Author and Article Information
Ahsan Qamar, Jan Wikander

Department of Machine Design,
School of Industrial Engineering and Management,
KTH Royal Institute of Technology,
10044 Stockholm, Sweden

Christiaan J. J. Paredis

Model-Based Systems Engineering Center,
G. W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering,
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Atlanta, GA 30332-0405

Carl During

Micronic Mydata AB,
Box 3141, 18303 Täby, Sweden
e-mail: carl.during@micronic-mydata.com

This paper is based on the article published in the proceedings of the ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, DETC2012-70272 [3].

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering. Manuscript received May 25, 2012; final manuscript received October 11, 2012; published online December 11, 2012. Assoc. Editor: Shuming Gao.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 12(4), 041009 (Dec 11, 2012) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007986 History: Received May 25, 2012; Revised October 11, 2012

Mechatronic design is traditionally supported through domain-specific design activities throughout the product development process. The partitioning into domain-specific problems leads to a situation where product properties influence each other, hence giving rise to dependencies. These dependencies play a key role in the prediction of properties and, as a result, in the decision-making process. The important question is how to manage the dependencies for efficient and effective decision making? The aim of this paper is threefold. First, we investigate the nature of dependencies and study how to model them. The paper proposes appropriate terminology taking into account the synthesis and analysis nature of both the properties and the dependencies. This terminology will be the core of the new dependency modeling language. The concepts related to dependency modeling are then illustrated through a simple robot design example, where the creation and importance of a dependency model are explained. Second, we study practical approaches for consistency management and model management in the presence of dependencies. Six levels-of-detail in modeling dependencies are presented; emphasizing that modeling at a higher level-of-detail ensures that more inconsistencies are avoided. Available languages such as OMG SysML™ are evaluated for a possible creation of the dependency models leading toward executable dependency networks. However, at present, SysML does not provide sufficiently rich language constructs to model dependencies. Third, we compare our dependency modeling approach to other state-of-the-art approaches such as dependency modeling with a design structure matrix (DSM), and highlight the benefits of the terminology proposed in this paper. We aim to convince the reader that there is substantial value in modeling dependencies explicitly, especially to avoid inconsistencies, which is not the current state of practice. However, an overall value from dependency modeling can only be obtained if the cost of creating the dependency model is reasonable. Issues such as human interaction/effort and model management through product lifecycle management (PLM) are discussed.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Robots , Design , Modeling , Networks
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Fig. 1

Artifacts and property spaces [7]

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Fig. 2

Analysis dependency (left) and synthesis dependency (right)

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Fig. 3

Semantic relationships between properties in addition to dependencies

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Fig. 4

Visualization of a dependency network within and across two domain-specific models

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Fig. 5

A design concept for the robot

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Fig. 6

Dependency network for the robot example

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Fig. 7

An illustration of a causal loop within the dependency network of the robot example

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Fig. 8

Robot mechanical structure modeled in SysML

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Fig. 9

Topological configuration with SysML as a common product model among domain-specific models. P stands for a producer and C stands for a consumer of a property.

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Fig. 10

A visualization of dependency patterns. Pattern-A: CAD-SysML. Pattern B: controller design-SysML. Properties shared between two domain-specific models are also shown.

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Fig. 11

Metalevels in relation to modeling/executing dependencies

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Fig. 12

Multiple SDs leading to a single SP, requiring multiple selections

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Fig. 13

DSM for the robot example built in CAM [34]

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Fig. 14

PLM as a core for model management, dependency network represented in SysML with other dependencies spread cross domains. Figure adapted from Ref. [41].



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