Composed Formalisms

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The Möbius tool allows for the construction of composed models from previously defined models. This gives the modeler the ability to adopt a hierarchical approach to modeling, by constructing submodels as meaningful units and then combining them together in a well-defined manner to construct a model of a larger system. This is sometimes used as a convenient technique to make the model modular and easier to construct; at other times, the ways that models are composed can lead to efficiencies in the solution process.

The composition method supported in Möbius is the state-sharing approach. In this approach, submodels are linked together through superimposing (i.e., sharing of corresponding state variables, including no more than one state variable from each subset) of a subset of the state variables of each submodel. This allows submodels to interact in such a way that each of them can read from and write to the shared state variables. Any write to a shared state variable will consequently be available to all submodels that contain that state variable. For example, it is possible to compose two SAN models by having them hold a particular place in common.

Notice that Möbius models are closed under composition. This means that a composed model is also a model itself, and therefore can be further composed with other submodels to produce larger models. Although a composed model is a single model with its own state space, it is not a “flat” model. It is hierarchically built from submodels, which largely preserve their formalism-specific characteristics, so the composed model does not destroy the structural properties of the submodels. Moreover, the compositional techniques do not depend on the particular formalisms of the submodels that are being composed, provided that any requirements are met.

Currently, Möbius features two state-sharing composed model formalisms: Replicate/Join composition and Graph composition.