Communicating behavior of systems with the COMBOS-method

Steven Haveman, Gerrit Maarten Bonnema

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During conceptual design of a system, it is critical that stakeholders gain insight in this system to provide adequate feedback and make well-founded design decisions. However, the behavior of systems has become more embedded in the software domain in the last decades. Models and simulations are required to make this behavior explicit. While many modeling and simulation approaches exist, a support to communicate the modeling process to a large and varied group of stakeholders is lacking. To overcome this gap, this work proposes the COMBOS-method. The COMBOS-approach supports system architects to increase a stakeholder’s understanding of the system behavior. COMBOS also supports identification of relations between different views of a system. This is achieved by the creation of interactive system overviews in an iterative process involving the relevant stakeholders. These interactive system overviews show the behavior of a system across different views. In order to evaluate the method, it has been applied in a case study. The results show that the COMBOS-method improves the explanation of system behavior, allows creative design discussions on system behavior and increases the understanding of system behavior across a wide group of stakeholders. In conclusion, the COMBOS-method is an approach that supports reasoning on system behavior during conceptual design of systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-712
JournalAdvanced engineering informatics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • IR-101326
  • METIS-317928
  • 22/4 OA procedure


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