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Self-Inflicted Wounds on Our Journey to MBSE

by dlong

By David Long, Vitech President

Over the past six weeks, I have had the pleasure of participating in a wide range of systems engineering forums, workshops, and conferences in multiple regions and across diverse domains. I continue to be impressed by the energy and passion that permeates these events and all those engaged in moving systems engineering forward toward a model-based discipline. At the same time, I am disappointed by some of the continued missteps I see. These easily avoidable mistakes drain energy and continue to slow our progress toward the ultimate goal of moving the practice and profession of systems engineering forward. If we can relegate these challenges to the past, we can certainly accelerate our progress. More...

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Categories: MBSE


Fit for Purpose – The Choice of View

by zscott

Zane Scott, Vitech Vice President of Professional Services

One of the quandaries regularly presented to systems engineers is which view or combination of views to use when representing the system model to others. In today’s practice, there is a blessing – and a curse – in the sheer number of views available for this purpose. The choice is varied and nuanced so views can be targeted to the job at hand. Despite that, engineers often make the choice of views based on their own personal preferences or pattern of practice.

By being intentional about the way we represent our system model, we can leverage the power of the model itself to communicate the principles and rationale behind the design. To begin, we consider what a view is in the context of systems engineering. More...

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Categories: MBSE | Misc


The Power of Systems: Wolves Change the Course of Rivers

by zscott

Zane Scott, Vitech Vice President of Professional Services

In 1995, the National Park Service reintroduced a number of wolves into the Yellowstone National Park. Absent from that territory for 70 years, the wolves – captured and transported from Canada – were initially kept in reintroduction pens where they were fed the carcasses of elk, deer, moose, or bison that had died in and around the park. The wolves were guarded and cared for under protocols designed to minimize human contact and thus reduce human habituation among the wolves. They were quickly ready for release into the park. In the years since their release, they have increased in numbers and range, with at least 99 wolves in 10 packs living primarily in Yellowstone and 528 wolves living within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

The impact on the ecosystem has been significant and illustrates the power of a complex adaptive system. Some impacts were easily anticipated. The wolves have fed on deer and elk, reducing those populations from previous levels that had necessitated human intervention efforts due to habitat strain. But wolf predation also kicked off a phenomenon known as a “trophic cascade.” More...

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Categories: Misc

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