As a critical task of conceptual design, function modeling is regarded as a design activity aimed at establishing the functional model(s) of a technical system. Existing functional modeling approaches usually employ a static diagram to represent the functional structure of a technical system, which, on one hand, cannot allow a system engineer to explicitly represent a system that has multiple states, and on the other hand, cannot effectively support system state analysis. Therefore, this paper proposes a state-behavior-function-based approach for achieving the function modeling of multi-state systems to address the above issues. It first introduces the state-behavior-function-based models for representing an object (i.e., a component or a system). Hereby, a state of an object refers to the internal configuration of the object, a behavior represents the state (i.e., configuration) change of the objet, and a function denotes the intended action that the object exerts on one or multiple flows in the environment of the object. This research then proposes an object-based approach for simulating the functional processes in a multi-state system. With this approach, each component of a system is treated as an active object (rather than a static block node in the functional diagram), which can be in different states and can interact with other components or subsystems through the input and output flows. A prototype system is then developed, which cannot only be used for function modeling, but also can be employed for system state simulation. The function modeling of a washing machine and its system state simulation has been employed to illustrate the proposed approach.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.