Is SysML too abstract?

One popular complain about SysML is that the model does not look like the thing you are building (designing). But it is not a fatality! Indeed, Ahsan Qamar has reviewed literature and demonstrated how to keep synchronized SysML with CAD, electrical,… models in his licentiate thesis.

Moreover the SysML specification 1.2 on section (page 36) say:
SysML allows blocks to have multiple compartments, each optionally identified with its own compartment name.

[…]. Some standard compartments are defined by SysML itself, and others can be defined by the user using tool-specific facilities

Thus a tool could display a compartment showing (externally synchronized) visual design as in the following diagram. Maybe we could differentiate between a sketch that would be drawn in the concept compartment, and the real design that would be drawn in the preview compartment. The former would be replaced by the second on project progress.

Please do comment this idea in the discussion area bellow.

PS: contact me to work towards making it real.

SysML preview/concept compartment proposal

By |2016-12-31T18:07:04+00:00August 26th, 2011|sysml|6 Comments


  1. Ahsan Qamar August 30, 2011 at 10:09 am

    The suggestion you made through the visualization is interesting and useful. It is probably easy to relate to a concept (abstract), rather than a real design since a distinction has to be made between modeled properties in each model. I am interested to have further information about this.
    To further add to your visualization, It will be good if such a model could also be generated from visual sketches drawn by designers.

  2. Loïc Fejoz August 30, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for your comment. […]
    To continue the discussion, I need further informations on what a visual sketches is made of, which file formats, etc. I imagine a sketches as being just a picture or a drawing so how would a designer “split” it in sub(SysML)-block?
    Moreover I thought that initially most (SysML)blocks would have a concept drawn, then further in time, they would be replaced by “real” design or picture.

  3. Ahsan Qamar August 30, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Visual sketches are informal, hence a language is needed that can capture the information and generate a mdoel with formal semantics from it, this can be then transformed ot generate a SysMl model.
    I agree with last line of your message completly though.

  4. Loïc Fejoz August 30, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Do you have any idea about the language that is needed? Or more precisely, do you have an idea of the language designers would be able to learn and use?

  5. Ahsan Qamar August 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    The needed language needs to interpret informal sketches (built under certain restrained syntax). There can be different aspects of such a language, e.g. a mechanical free body diagram, state chart interpreter, block diagram etc. Look at the following for some proposals:

    Hans Vangheluwe is working on one such compiler for state charts as described here:

  6. Loïc Fejoz August 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Oh I see! Very interesting.
    I will read those papers but I now get a more precise idea of what you mean.
    Maybe a layer system could discriminate between sub-components?

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