Main Content

Define Interfaces

A system engineering solution includes a formal definition of the interfaces between components. A connection shows that two components have an output-to-input relationship; an interface defines the type, dimensions, units, and structure of the data. You can define interfaces using the Interface Editor.

To show the Interface Editor, in the Design section, on the Modeling tab, select Interface Editor. The Interface Editor will open along the bottom pane.

Displays exMobileRobot architecture model with the interface editor indicated in red

Create Interface

To add a new interface definition, click the icon. Name the interface.

Displays the interface editor with one interface defined named 'sensor data'.

To add an element to the interface, click the add element icon. Interface and element names must be valid variable names.

Displays the interface elements named 'coordinates' and 'motor speed' below the interface named 'sensor data'.

You can delete interfaces and elements in the Interface Editor using the delete interface button.

You can view and edit the properties of an element in the Property Inspector. Right-click the interface element and select Inspect Properties.

Displays the properties for the interface element named 'motor speed' under the property inspector showing properties named Type as a double, Dimensions as 1, Units blank, Complexity as real, Minimum empty, Maximum empty, and Description blank.

A hierarchical interface contains another interface. Create a hierarchical interface by assigning an interface as the type of an interface element.

For example, let coordinates be an interface that consists of x, y, and z coordinates. GPS data includes location information and a timestamp. If the location data is in the same format as the coordinates interface, you can set its type to coordinates. Right-click location and select Set 'Type' > coordinates. The available interface options include all interfaces in the model, except the parent of the element.

Displays the interface editor with three interfaces named 'sensor data', 'coordinates' and 'GPS data'. Below each of them are some interface elements with properties defined. Demonstrates the user right clicking on the 'location' interface element under the interface named 'GPS data' and selecting the option 'Set type' to choose the interface named 'coordinates'.

The defined interfaces become part of the model data dictionary.

Related Topics