Reference: Iwasaki, Y. & Low, C. M. Model Generation and Simulation of Device Behavior with Continuous and Discrete Changes. 1991.
Abstract: In engineering design, computers have been used as an indispensable tool for analysis of a design through simulation of its behavior. However, their use for formulating behavior models has been very limited. In this document, we describe a system called Device Modeling Environment (DME), which helps the user to formulate behavior models of a given device and to analyze the behavior of the device through behavior simulation. Given a description of the design of a device, DME formulates a behavior model of the device, analyzes its behavior through simulation, and gives an explanation of the behavior. DME is capable of modeling both continuous and discontinuous physical phenomena. When it detects that the situation has evolved to a point where the original model is no longer applicable, it is able to modify the model and to continue simulation. We describe the representation of physical knowledge and the model formulation and simulation mechanisms of DME, and give a detailed example of DME's predicting the behavior of the electrical power system of a satellite. Our long-term goal is to provide designers of electro-mechanical devices with an interactive computational environment that can assist them even at an early stage of the design process by providing immediate feedback about the implications of design decisions.
Full paper available as ps.