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Supporting Modularity in Simulink Models

by   Monika Jaskolka, et al.

Model-Based Development (MBD) is widely used for embedded controls development, with Matlab Simulink being one of the most used modelling environments in industry. As with all software, Simulink models are subject to evolution over their lifetime and must be maintained. Modularity is a fundamental software engineering principle facilitating the construction of complex software, and is used in textual languages such as C. However, as Simulink is a graphical modelling language, it is not currently well understood how modularity can be leveraged in development with Simulink, nor whether it can be supported with current Simulink modelling constructs. This paper presents an effective way of achieving modularity in Simulink by introducing the concept of a Simulink module. The effectiveness of the approach is measured using well-known indicators of modularity, including coupling and cohesion, cyclomatic complexity, and information hiding ability. A syntactic interface is defined in order to represent all data flow across the module boundary. Four modelling guidelines are also presented to encourage best practice. Also, a custom tool that supports the modelling of Simulink modules is described. Finally, this work is demonstrated and evaluated on a real-world example from the nuclear domain.


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