Tracee Walker Gilbert, Ph.D., Philomena Zimmerman, Frank Salvatore, Tyesia Alexander, Ph.D., Timothy Tritsch
The Systems Engineering Vision 2020 of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) has identified Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) as a key capability that will be required to effectively practice the future state of systems engineering. INCOSE defines MBSE as “the formalized application of modeling to support the system requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities beginning in the conceptual design phase and continuing throughout development and later life cycle phases.” While MBSE has been a staple in various engineering disciplines (i.e., software and mechanical engineering), MBSE applied across the lifecycle represents a paradigm shift in systems engineering. By elevating models to a central and governing role, MBSE replaces the traditional and currently practiced document-centric approach that has governed systems engineering practices in the past with a model-centric approach.
To support the 2020 vision and to advance the state of systems engineering, this paper reviews the challenges associated with the current MBSE methods, processes, tools, frameworks, languages, and standards. To address the challenges, this paper presents a framework for communication that represents the future direction of MBSE in the Department of Defense. The framework defines a shared system model concept that utilizes model repositories crossing multiple domains to support the systems engineering lifecycle.