Episode 19.13 – Physical Breakdown Structure

Broadcast date: December 13th, 2021

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Welcome to another door of the MBSE Podcast Advent Calendar. Behind the 13th door, we take a look at the physical architecture.

In the last days, we presented the functional architecture. As a reminder, let’s open the internal block diagram of the functional architecture in the tool.

TMPCT Functional Architecture

We also have created a physical architecture of our MBSE Podcast Christmas tree which specifies the physical entities that implement the functional entities from the functional architecture. 

TMPCT Physical Architecture Definition

The physical architecture is a specialization of the base architecture, in this diagram the element with the system stereotype with the name “The MBSE Podcast Christmas Tree”. It inherits most of the parts from the system-element “TMPCT Base Architecture”. As we have seen before, we used illustrations instead of the block notation, which makes it easier for inexperienced users, to understand the diagram.

The blocks from our functional architecture are allocated to the blocks of the physical architecture. The allocation specifies which physical block implements which functional block. 

We manage the allocation in a matrix. 

Functional to Physical Allocation

The rows list the functional blocks, the columns the physical blocks, and the cells the allocate relationship. Some functional blocks are mapped to more than one physical block, and some physical blocks have more than one allocated functional block. It is a rather rough mapping. For example, if a functional block is allocated to multiple physical blocks, it is not clear whether it is redundantly allocated, or only parts of the functional block. However, this is usually sufficient in the model. More details, if required, can be introduced by extending the allocate relationship with a stereotype.

As with the functional architecture, the more interesting part is the internal structure of the physical architecture with ports and connections. We will cover that tomorrow. 

So much for the 13th door of our MBSE Podcast Advent Calendar. We wish you a great 13th of December.

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