Broadcast date: December 10th, 2021

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Welcome to the 10th door of our MBSE Podcast Advent Calendar. This time, we take a look at functional architectures. 

A functional architecture is a system architecture based on functions and independent of the physical entities that implement the functions. However, the functions can depend on physical concepts defined in the base architecture.

The FAS method describes how to derive a functional architecture from use case activities. 

The first main important step is the grouping of the use case activities. How the activities are grouped is a decision of the system architect.

The functional group is modeled by a stereotype specializing the SysML block. The grouping is then modeled by trace relationships from the functional group to the activities. 

It is best to show and manage the grouping in a matrix. Let’s have a look at it in the model.

Functional Grouping in a Matrix

The functional groups and the matrix are located in the functional architecture package in our system model. The columns are the activities from the use case analysis. The rows are the functional groups. The single cells represent the presence of the trace relationship. 

The special learning gift of today: Sometimes it is easier to manage relationships between model elements in a matrix instead of showing them in a diagram. The following diagram shows the same information as the matrix. You can easily see that it is more confusing.

Functional Grouping in a Diagram (not recommended)

The next step is to derive the functional architecture from the groups. We will look at it tomorrow. 

So much for the 10th door of our MBSE Podcast Advent Calendar. We wish you a great 10th of December.

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