System Evaluation and Description Using Abstract Relation Types (ART)

Joseph J. Simpson
Ann K. Miller, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Cihan H. Dagli, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Two abstract relation types (ART) are developed to represent, describe and establish a computational framework for a system. An abstract relation type is closely related to and builds upon two fundamental ideas. The first idea is the binary relation and structural modeling techniques developed by John N. Warfield. The second idea is the concept of abstract data types. These two ideas are combined to create an abstract relation type that provides a structured representation and computational method for systems and system components. The complete system description approach is based on six abstract relation types: context, concept, functions, requirements, architecture, and test (CCFRAT). When combined with digraphs and other graphical representations of the matrix form, ART provides a powerful tool for the communication of complex system interactions to large system design teams.