During a system engineering process there are an important number of tasks that need to be organized, mapped together and recursively considered. The tasks that are mapped together are exchanging different flows of information and material. In this type of iterative processes, significant savings in term of development time can be made by providing a method that is optimizing the amount of feedbacks and iterations to the minimal level simply required for the successful development of the system. Task scheduling in a system engineering process can become extremely complex. Nevertheless it is a crucial step of the early stages of the systems engineering process for time-to-market, cost-efficiency and quality reasons. In this article, the authors are proposing to combine a computational approach (Discrete Differential Evolution) with Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) for minimizing iterations and reducing lead-time development. The present article is contributing to recent research works using Design Structure Matrixes (DSM) and computational methods for visualizing and analyzing systems engineering processes. The paper is proposing a framework integrating a model-based approach and a DSM based analysis of the process architecture to assist system engineers in organizing and scheduling tasks. As a result, this framework allows engineers to automatically populate DSMs generated from MBSE models developed in SysML. A specific stereotype is proposed to represent system development tasks in SysML. The sequencing of the engineering tasks is optimized with the application of a Discrete Differential Evolution algorithm (DDE) taking into account the different constraints. The practical use of the proposed framework is demonstrated on the case study of a mobile robot developed for the Eurobot competition. The article also discusses the possibility to use the current framework to analyze the impact of requirement changes on the scheduling of development tasks.
- Design structure matrix
- discrete differential evolution
- model-based systems engineering
- systems engineering process