Engineering design is evolving into a global activity. Globally distributed design requires efficient global distribution of models of dynamic physical systems through computer networks. These models must describe the external input-output behavior of the electrical, mechanical, fluid, and thermal dynamics of engineering systems. An efficient system model assembly method is then required to assemble these component system models into a model of a yet higher-level dynamic system. Done recursively, these higher-level system models become possible components for yet higher-level analytical models composed of external model equations in the same standardized format as that of the lowest level components. Real-time, automated exchange, and assembly of engineering dynamic models over a global network requires four characteristics. The models exchanged must have a unique standard format so that they can be exchanged and assembled by an automated process. The exchange of model information must be executed in a single-query transmission to minimize network load. The models must describe only external behavior to protect internal model details. Finally, the assembly process must be recursive so that the transfer and assembly processes do not change with the level of the model exchanged or assembled. This paper will introduce the modular modeling method (MMM), a modeling strategy that satisfies these requirements. The MMM distributes and assembles linear dynamic physical system models with a dynamic matrix representation. Using the MMM method, dynamic models of complex assemblies can be built and distributed while hiding the topology and characteristics of their dynamic subassemblies.

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