Architecting processes capture elements, relationships, and attributes that are needed to describe a system architecture which forms a variety of viewpoints that address stakeholder concerns [see Z8 System Architecture]. It is the Systems Engineer’s job to assimilate all these into one coherent representation, or model, of reality.
Models are commonly used to describe or capture the architecture. Equally the data contained within architectural descriptions feeds into models that aid the understanding of system structure or performance, such as simulation or a decomposition of functions.
A high level system model can be built, which allows the collaborating team to visualize the entire system and the surrounding environment. Following decomposition into sub-functions or components, models can then be used to map onto physical architectures. This allows validation of the resulting system to take place and for the customers / users to more clearly see their vision earlier than would otherwise be possible.
The models can be used as integration test benches to support Integration, Verification and Validation testing throughout the SE lifecycle.
Replaced/Superseded by document(s)
MBSE is a term that predicates the use of modelling to analyse and document key aspects of the Systems Engineering Lifecycle. It is broad in scope, spanning the SE lifecycle and covering levels from System of Systems to individual components.