Conference Paper

Graph-based Model Inspection Tool for Multi-disciplinary Production Systems Engineering

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Abstract

Background. In Production Systems Engineering (PSE), the planning of production systems involves domain experts from various domains, such as mechanical, electrical and software engineering collaborating and modeling their specific views on the system. These models, describing entire plants, can reach a large size (up to several GBs) with complex relationships and dependencies. Due to the size, ambiguous semantics and diverging views, consistency of data and the awareness of changes are challenging to track. Aim. In this paper we explore visualizations mechanisms for a model inspection tool to support consistency checking and the awareness of changes in multi-disciplinary PSE environments, as well has more efficient handing of AutomationML (AML) files. Method. We explore various visualization capabilities that are suitable for hierarchical structures common in PSE and identified requirements for a model-inspection tool for PSE purposes based on workshops with our company partner. A pr oof-of concept software prototype is developed based on the elicited requirements. Results. We evaluate the effectiveness of our Information Visualisation (InfoVis) approach in comparison to a standard modeling tool in PSE, the AutomationML Editor. The evaluation showed promising results for handling large-scale engineering models based on AML for the selected scenarios, but also areas for future improvement, such as more advanced capabilities. Conclusion. Although InfoVis was found useful in the evaluation context, in-depth analysis with domain experts from industry regarding usability and features remain for future work.

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... Therefore, our goal is to apply selected information visualisation methods in the PSE context to improve the review process of engineering models in the PSE domain. This work builds on previous work on model inspection, published at the Modelsward 2020 conference [31]. Based on the Design Design Science Cycle [36], we analyse requirements of the application use case, develop a software prototype (i.e., the Multi-Model Reviewing (MMR) prototype) to support multimodel reviewing capabilities and evaluate it against a standard PSE tool, i.e., the AutomantionML Editor (AMLEditor). ...
... Average execution times based on KLM[8] for the tasks (in seconds), performed with AMLEditor and the MMR Prototype solution based on[31]. ...
Chapter
Background. In Production Systems Engineering (PSE) models, which describe plants, represent different views on several engineering disciplines (such as mechanical, electrical and software engineering) and may contain up to 10,000s of instance elements, such as concepts, attributes and relationships. Validating these models requires an integrated multi-model view and the domain expertise of human experts related to individual views. Unfortunately, the heterogeneity of disciplines, tools, and data formats makes it hard to provide a technology-independent multi-model view. Aim. In this paper, we aim at improving Multi-Model Reviewing (MMR) capabilities of domain experts based on selected model visualisation methods and mechanisms. Method. We (a) derive requirements for graph-based visualisation to facilitate reviewing multi-disciplinary models; (b) introduce the MMR approach to visualise engineering models for review as hierarchical and linked structures; (c) design an MMR software prototype; and (d) evaluate the prototype based on tasks derived from real-world PSE use cases. For evaluation purposes we compare capabilities of the MMR prototype and a text-based model editor. Results. The MMR prototype enabled performing the evaluation tasks in most cases considerable faster than the standard text-based model editor. Conclusion. The promising results of the MMR approach in the evaluation context warrant empirical studies with a wider range of domain experts and use cases on the usability and usefulness of the MMR approach in practice.
... The authors conclude, that not all information is always needed for specific tasks, and therefore the facilitation to curate and select information is important. Based on industrial requirements we designed a proof-of-concept prototype of a graph-based model inspection tool [32]. Its goal is to facilitate easier detection of changes and dependencies by visualising the hierarchical engineering information in space-efficient nodes in comparison to text-based model editors. ...
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