Evaluating ARCADIA/Capella vs. OOSEM/SysML for System Architecture Development

2019-08-12T18:37:15Z (GMT) by Shashank P. Alai
Systems Engineering is catching pace in many segments of product manufacturing industries. Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is the formalized application of modeling to perform systems engineering activities. In order to effectively utilize the complete potential of MBSE, a methodology consisting of appropriate processes, methods and tools is a key necessity. In the last decade, several MBSE projects have been implemented in industries varying from aerospace and defense to automotive, healthcare and transportation. The Systems Modeling Language (SysML) standard has been a key enabler of these projects at many companies. Although SysML is capable of providing a rich representation of any system through various viewpoints, the journey towards adopting SysML to realize the true potential of MBSE has been a challenge. Among all, one of the common roadblocks faced by systems engineers across industries has been the software engineering-based nature of SysML which leads to difficulties in grasping the modeling concepts for people that do not possess a software engineering background. As a consequence, developing a system (or a system of systems) architecture model using SysML has been a challenging task for many engineers even after a decade of its inception and multiple successive iterations of the language specification. Being a modeling language, SysML is method-agnostic, but its associated limitations outweigh the advantages. ARCADIA (Architecture Analysis and Design Integrated Approach) is a systems and software architecture engineering method based on architecture-centric and model-based engineering activities. If applied properly, ARCADIA allows for a very effective way to model the architecture of multi-domain systems, and overcome many of the limitations faced in traditional SysML implementation. This thesis evaluates the architecture development capabilities of ARCADIA/Capella versus SysML following the Object-Oriented Systems Engineering Method (OOSEM). The study focuses on the key equivalences and differences between the two MBSE solutions from a model development perspective and provides several criteria to evaluate their effectiveness for architecture development using a conceptual case of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). The evaluation is based on three perspectives namely, architecture quality, ability to support key process deliverables, and the overall methodology. Towards this end, an industry-wide survey of MBSE practitioners and thought leaders was conducted to identify several concerns in using models but also to validate the results of the study. The case study demonstrates how the ARCADIA/Capella approach addresses several challenges that are currently faced in SysML implementation. From a process point of view, ARCADIA/Capella and SysML equally support the provision of the key deliverable artifacts required in the systems engineering process. However, the candidate architectures developed using the two approaches show a considerable difference in various aspects such as the mapping of the form to function, creating functional architectures, etc. The ARCADIA/Capella approach allows to develop a ‘good’ system architecture representation efficiently and intuitively. The study also provides answers to several useful criteria pertaining to the overall candidate methodologies while serving as a practitioner’s reference in selecting the most suitable approach.