Polymorphic Modelling of Engineering Systems

Theo J.A. de Vries, Peter C. Breedveld, Piet Meindertsma

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    18 Downloads (Pure)


    The heart of modelling is formed by three aspects: the decomposition of a system into interrelated subsystems, called components here, the classification of these components and relations, and the representation of the resulting model. Modelling support (i.e. computer tools) should provide means for utilising powerful decomposition, classification and representation concepts, such as those incorporated in bond graphs for example. In this paper, an analysis is presented of techniques which (partially) enable the implementation of these concepts in computer-based modelling tools. The first and oldest technique applied as such is typing, which enabled the encapsulation and parametrisation of components and hierarchical modelling. This improved decomposition and classification possibilities of modelling support. Secondly port based interfaces have been incorporated in modelling tools. Such interfaces made it possible to model with an object oriented approach instead of a process oriented one, and improved the representation of models by enabling a component to be depicted as a network of lower level components. It is shown that typing and port based interfaces together allow the decomposition and its representation as done in bond graph modelling, but they do not support classification properly. The use of inheritance by means of subtyping improves this, but leads to components that can not be instantiated. To solve this, it is proposed to use the technique of modularisation. In modelling tools, modularisation involves the division of component definitions into two parts: a type, defining essential properties of a component, and a specification, defining the incidental ones. One type may have more than one specification, i.e. component types become polymorphic. Modularisation can, in combination with subtyping, support classification, and therefore it is said to extend hierarchical modelling into polymorphic modelling. An implementation in a modelling system is presented and examples are shown which demonstrate features of a polymorphic modelling system.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Bond Graph Modeling, January 17-20, 1993, Hyatt Regency La Jolla, La Jolla, California : ICBGM '93
    Place of PublicationSan Diego, CA
    PublisherThe Society for Computer Simulation International
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)1-56555-019-6
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 1993
    EventInternational Conference on Bond Graph Modeling and Simulation, ICBGM 1993 - Hyatt Regency La Jolla, La Jolla, United States
    Duration: 17 Jan 199320 Jan 1993

    Publication series

    NameSimulation series
    PublisherThe Society


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Bond Graph Modeling and Simulation, ICBGM 1993
    Abbreviated titleICBGM
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityLa Jolla


    Dive into the research topics of 'Polymorphic Modelling of Engineering Systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this