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NIST Researcher Proposes Logistics Modeling for Complex Systems Design to OMG

NIST Researcher Proposes Logistics Modeling for Complex Systems Design to OMG

NIST’s Raphael Barbau recently presented research on modeling logistics aiding design of complex systems to a standards organization, Object Management Group (OMG). Specifically, Barbau proposed a “Logistics Modeling and Analysis” extension for OMG’s Systems Modeling Language (SysML).

System engineers use SysML to create models of complex systems as well as specify their requirements and testing. These models help project engineers understand how their work in other areas – electrical, mechanical, production, etc. – fits into the overall system. However, these other engineers often use their own area analysis models to analyze needs – with differences between system and area analysis models producing inconsistencies that are difficult to resolve.

To address this problem for logistics, Barbau and NIST’s Conrad Bock are developing an extension of SysML that provides logistics modeling for complex systems, called “SysLMA,” as well as mappings between SysLMA logistics models and those of analysis. Barbau developed proof-of-concept software that automatically translates SysLMA’s logistics models into analysis models, based on these mappings.

SysLMA describes logistics systems needed at multiple levels, including multi-commodity flow network optimization and queuing analysis. Barbau’s presentation to OMG added “discrete event simulation” – a widely used technique that predicts how logistics systems will behave over time. The proof-of-concept software demonstrates the viability of SysLMA for these modeling and analyses. It is applicable to logistics systems within facilities – such as in production and warehousing facilities – as well as logistics networks between facilities, like supply chains and distribution networks.

Released June 1, 2023, Updated July 14, 2023