A Conceptual Modeling and Simulation Framework for System Design

Eric Coatanéa, Ric Roca, Hossein Mokhtarian, Faisal Mokammel, Kimmo Ikkala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the dimensional analysis conceptual modeling (DACM) framework, intended as a conceptual modeling mechanism for lifecycle systems engineering. DACM is a novel computer-aided method originally developed for military projects, but it's now available for other applications, too. The DACM framework is a powerful approach for specifying, discovering, validating, and reusing building blocks as well as analyzing system behavior in early development stages. This framework is based on dimensional analysis combined with causal graphs to represent the interactions and interdependencies among system variables. The framework's algorithms are codified into software applications to facilitate its use. This article provides a practical presentation of the steps that encompass the transformation from problem to solution space, key system variables extraction, causal ordering, clustering of variables, and qualitative analyses. The authors provide two examples that cover in detail the DACM's mathematic machinery for deriving a system's behavioral laws from a causal graph. The entire DACM approach is supported by a computer-based application that integrates all the steps of the framework presented in this article.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7499786
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • conceptual modeling
  • data analysis
  • design support
  • discrete simulation tools
  • modeling and simulation
  • reuse models
  • scientific computing
  • software engineering
  • solution development
  • solution modeling
  • systems specification methodology


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