A Framework for Validating Reusable Behavioral Models in Engineering Design
Malak, Richard J., Jr.
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Designers commonly use computer-based modeling and simulation methods to predict artifact behavior. Such predictions are central to engineering decision making. As such, determining how well they correspond to actual artifact behavior is a problem of critical importance. A significant aspect of this problem is determining whether the model used to generate the behavioral predictionsi.e., the behavioral modelreflects the relevant physical phenomena. The process of doing this is referred to as behavioral model validation. Prior works take an integrated approach to validation in which model creators and model users interact throughout the modeling and simulation process. Although effective for many problems, this type of approach is not appropriate for model reuse scenarios. Model validation requires knowledge about the model and its use. In model reuse scenarios, model creators and model users operate in independent processes with limited inter-process communication. The core challenge to behavioral model validation in this setting is that, in general, neither model creators nor model users possess the requisite knowledge to perform behavioral model validation. Presented in this thesis is a conceptual framework for validating reusable behavioral models in model reuse scenarios. This framework solves the problem of creator-user separation by defining specific validation responsibilities for each and an interface by which they communicate. This interface consists of a formal description of the models limitations and the domain over which these limitations are known to be true. The framework is illustrated through basic engineering examples.