Definition of a system model for model-based development

Hannes Hick, Matthias Bajzek*, Clemens Faustmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The term ‘system model’ is used in many different domains, fields of application and in various forms with different meanings. One of model-based systems engineering’s targets is the generation of a system model, which is used to describe complex system aspects across multiple views of disciplines and technical domains. Often a system model generated with systems modeling language is used as a central placed model in development. Besides, there are practical approaches, where models generated with other languages are also sometimes called system models. The scope of this paper is a generic definition of the term ‘system model’ and its interactions with other types of models in a model-based development ecosystem. Based on the analysis of the actual situation, a concept for the definition of system models is presented, which enables the use of multiple system models and which helps to understand the interactions with other types of models. For better comprehension of a system model’s role in development, a three dimensional cube for visualization of system models and specific models is presented. Coupled with the definition of the term, interactions to other approaches like product lifecycle management and the vision of a single source of truth for development are investigated and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1074
JournalSN Applied Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2019


  • System model
  • specific model
  • model-based development
  • Model-based systems engineering


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