Our approach in this paper is an introspective one with respect to modeling. Rather than examining what can be done with a model and how it can be built up or synthesized, we focus on the mathematical characteristics and how a model might be broken down or analyzed. Firstly, using monotonicity principles, this culminates in the identification of the nonlinear constraint and goal functionality and variable monotonicity, and secondly, in the development of the Goal Interaction Diagram. As various scenarios are examined, this information leads to improved efficiency and effectiveness within the design process through enhanced understanding. The case study we use to illustrate our approach deals with a real world example, namely, the preliminary design of a naval frigate. A working knowledge of naval architecture, however, is not required to understand the concepts being discussed.

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