What Is Real MBSE?

Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) has become a popular buzzword. Everyone talks about “modeling” and “simulation.” Unfortunately, many have conflated the concept of a model with a set of drawings or a specific drawing. MBSE originally meant capturing information that describes a system and then viewing that information in many different ways to enable understanding and articulation of detailed specifications or requirements for building a system. In other words, MBSE is much more than a set of drawings.

The push for MBSE was to find a way to reduce the cost and time required to perform systems engineering, thus making proper performance more likely. The cost and effect of not doing systems engineering have been well documented. Implementing MBSE into your organization can be expensive. We need to reduce cost and time enough in order to offset the investment of MBSE tools and training. Learn more about a Return on Investment for MBSE.

A tool that just produces drawings, even if it has a database which allows reuse, misses the point. With those tools, you must create each drawing separately (for example: a SysML activity model and a sequence diagram). An underlying database may help you synchronize the information, but you still have to manipulate it in the diagram. A true model-based tool will draw the correct diagram automatically. This difference saves significant time in the creation, but even more in updating, validating, and making sure the diagram is accurate. Simulation is an important part of MBSE that allows us to verify our models. Without checking your models in a Monte-Carlo simulator your true results can be unexpected.

Another difference between drawing-based vs. model-based tools comes in capturing a more complete set of information. Most model-based tools have more complete ontologies (bins of information and their relationships) than the typical drawing-based tool. Thus, you can create a more complete specification using these kinds of tools. Innoslate® bases its ontology on the Lifecycle Modeling Language (LML), which was designed to capture the information needed across the entire product lifecycle, including operations and support. As such, Innoslate generates more complete specifications, standard operating procedures, and other critical documentation needed by the stakeholders, all at reduced costs in labor and tool price.

Real MBSE captures information and creates computable models that can be verified through simulation and provide you with accurate results. With real MBSE your systems and products will be more compliant, and you will reduce overall risk and cost. Learn more about how you can implement real MBSE into your project in Dr. Steven Dam’s new book “Real MBSE.”