The Internet of Things (IoT) holds enormous promise of new capabilities for users and new opportunities for businesses. It also presents enormous challenges to systems engineers. Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) potentially provides an efficient way to address those challenges, being holistic, integrated, flexible and object-oriented. To explore this promise, Intercax is preparing a series of technical notes on modeling the Smart Home, a well-known example of the IoT, using MBSE, SysML and Syndeia, an integration platform linking systems engineering to the rest of the engineering process.


Smart Home BDD

Systems engineering a particular project might be thought of as four stages:

• Specify
• Design
• Procure
• Evaluate

The first technote in this series – Requirements to Functional Design (PDF) – will start with the specification of system requirements, and then use them to create a functional design as a reference architecture. The second note will use this functional design to generate a physical architecture, and build a parametric model for issues of cost and performance that must be evaluated for the final product. This physical structure also becomes the starting point for the procurement phase, which brings real product data into the model from a variety of external repositories and databases. Later notes will:

• take the product data and compare it against functional requirements,
• create specific instantiations and use parametric models to evaluate cost and performance,
• use the realized system model within a larger system-of-systems, the Smart Grid,
• show how architecture CAD models can inform the Smart Home model directly, and
• use the SysML model as a basis for high-fidelity simulation with tools such as Simulink and Modelica.

In this series of notes, we will illustrate the concepts using a specific set of tools: Syndeia and ParaMagic (Intercax), MagicDraw (No Magic Inc.), MySQL (Oracle), and Mathematica (Wolfram Research). However, this approach is not restricted to this toolset. For example, this model could have used Rational Rhapsody (IBM) as the SysML modeling tool with Syndeia and Melody plug-ins from Intercax. Other repositories, ranging from Microsoft Excel to powerful PLM systems such as PTC Windchill or Siemens Teamcenter could be used as the source of product data or requirements.

The whitepapers will be published successively over the new two months. Watch this blog page for announcements.



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Dirk Zwemer

Dr. Dirk Zwemer ( is President of Intercax LLC (Atlanta, GA), a supplier of MBE engineering software platforms like Syndeia and ParaMagic. He is an active teacher and consultant in the field and holds Level 4 Model Builder-Advanced certification as an OMG System Modeling Professional.