Book Review: Model-Based Systems Engineering with OPM and SysML

By Dov Dori, 2016, 411 pages

Review by Michael Pafford

Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is quickly becoming an accepted practice, especially for modeling complex socio-technical system solutions. The textbook-style book being reviewed here, is a recent practitioners reference on using together for MBSE the Object-Process Methodology (OPM) that is compatible with ISO 19450 Publicly Available Specification (PAS) (Dec 2015), and the Object-Oriented Systems Engineering Method (OOSEM) based on the Systems Modeling Language (SysML) Object Management Group (OMG) specification (Version 1.4, Sep 2015). The OPM specification is meant to provide guidance on modeling a holistic view of system functions, structure, and behavior, in narrative and diagrams understandable to technical and non-technical system stakeholders. The SysML-based OOSEM supports the specification, analysis, design, verification and validation of complex systems, including hardware, software, data, information, processes, people, and physical attributes.

 A paper in the Volume 4 Issue 8 August 2013 issue of the International Journal of Engineering Trends and Technology (IJETT), “A Brief View of Model Based Systems Engineering Methodologies”, listed both OPM and SysML-based OOSEM (Object-Oriented Systems Engineering Method) as two (of nine listed) MBSE methodologies used by Systems Engineers to model complex socio-technical systems and systems of systems. The 2013 paper cited heavily the 2008 INCOSE, “MBSE Methodology Survey” (INCOSE INSIGHT; volume 12, April 2009).

 In his Foreword to the text, Professor Edward Crawley of MIT discussed what he sees as a distinction between system ‘complexity’ (containing many parts interacting in multiple ways) and ‘complicatedness’ (the way a system model is presented through a modeling language and perceived by a user). He suggests OPM responds well to the challenge of striving to reduce the complicatedness of complex system model representations to the bare necessities-without sacrificing accuracy and details.

 In his Preface, the author says the book is designed as both a self-learning MBSE reference book, and as a text for an undergraduate or graduate level MBSE course. He says the book should give users a deep understanding of MBSE ideas, principles, and applications through modeling complex and complicated systems using both OPM and OOSEM/SysML.

 A product of six years of work, this book should serve as a good, current, and reliable reference to MBSE in general, and to complementary abstract and specified OPM and OOSEM/SysML MBSE specifically.

 The Paperback version can be purchased from Amazon