Complex product development processes are evolving towards simulation driven design which leads to many heterogeneous computational models and design teams that interact with each other. However, this interaction creates a bottleneck for communication and models reuse throughout the design process because, very often, the model provider (i.e. analysts) and model users (i.e. designers) do not have the same level of understanding. In addition, the tools such as PDM (Product Data Management) or SDM (Simulation Data Management) consider the numerical models as black-box documents and they cannot access or link parameters and variables of models. The poverty of semantics in terms of simulation logics and design leads to a lack of interoperability between the contributing disciplinary simulation components, herein called numerical models. To reinforce this semantics, it is necessary to create a semantically-rich model characterization support to reduce knowledge gap between model provider and user, and to achieve a higher level of reuse. This work aims to introduce the first necessary step, herein, creation of domain ontology for formally characterizing reusable numerical model. Based on this common vocabulary, in automotive context, a Model Identity Card (MIC) is developed as an intermediate support which characterizes a model into five attributes; Physical Object, Interface, Methods, Means Usage, Validation and Verification. The MIC is illustrated with a Vehicle Thermic Comfort model example and a computer interface is developed to collect a series of representative MICs in a database.

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