Intercax Remarks on Digital Engineering Sessions at INCOSE IW 2023

Intercax was a Ruby sponsor of the 2023 INCOSE International Workshop (IW) in Torrance, CA, USA, Jan 28-31. Our team comprising of Dr. Manas Bajaj (Chief Systems Officer), Lonnie VanZandt (Principal Solutions Architect), and Greg Salow (VP, Business Development) attended the IW to interact with peer system engineers and contribute to the digital engineering, SysML v2, and OpenMBEE technical sessions.

The IW attracts a wide range of practicing systems engineers from academia, government, and industry, and provides opportunities for these attendees to collaborate, learn from each other, and to jointly build the systems engineering body of knowledge. The IW typically includes keynote speeches, technical presentations, panels, tutorials, and poster sessions. The goal of the IW is to advance the state of the art in systems engineering and to promote the sharing of best practices and experiences among systems engineers worldwide.

The Intercax team contributed to three major technical sessions at the INCOSE IW.

SysML v2 Language and API – Overview and Demo (Jan 30, 2023)

The SysML v2 Submission Team (SST) held a 4-hour session on “SysML v2 Language and API Overview and Demo” for the INCOSE IW participants. This session was led by Sandy Friedenthal, Ed Seidewitz, and Manas Bajaj (Intercax – Chief Systems Officer).

The SysML v2 language and API specifications are in the final stages of submission to the OMG next week (Feb 20, 2023) with the goal to be adopted as a beta specification in Mar 2023 at the OMG meeting in Reston. This session had three parts:

SysML v2 Overview – Sandy Friedenthal presented an overview of the core concepts and patterns in the SysML v2 language, the submission and finalization schedule, and the targeted benefits and potential impacts of SysML v2. This new version of the Systems Modeling Language has a metamodel that is not based on UML2.x, harmonizes the different concepts areas that simplifies the language, and adds new modeling capabilities for greater precision in representing real world cyberphysical systems.

SysML v2 Language Demo – Ed Seidewitz presented a live demo of the SysML v2 language textual syntax using Jupyter notebooks. In addition to the graphical syntax, SysML v2 also includes a textual syntax. Ed demonstrated constructing a SysML v2 model using the textual syntax in Jupyter notebooks (with a SysML v2 kernel), generating graphical views, and publishing the SysML v2 model using the standard SysML v2 API to SST’s pilot implementation API & Services repository that is hosted by Intercax.

SysML v2 API and Services Demo – Manas Bajaj, API and Services Lead, presented an overview of the Systems Modeling API and Services. Unlike SysML v1.x, SysML v2 includes a standard API that:

  • Provides standard services to access, navigate, and operate on SysML v2 models, and in general any type of model that extends the core Data interface defined in the API
  • Facilitates interoperability between SysML providers/consumers, and with the broader set of enterprise tools and services
  • Specifies the types of requests that can be sent and responses that can be received by API Consumers to API Providers
  • Includes a Platform Independent definition of services (PIM) and two Platform Specific bindings (REST/HTTP and OSLC PSM)

SysML v2 API will be a game-changer for model-based systems engineering and will result in a rapid growth of SysML v2 API providers and consumers that will be able to seamlessly interoperate with each other to the benefit of end-users. Manas presented an overview of the core services in the SysML v2 API, followed by live demos of the REST/HTTP API using Jupyter notebooks consuming the REST/HTTP API using Python. The demos included recipes for creating projects with multiple branches and tags to represent concurrent modeling and common patterns to navigate and query systems requirements, structure, and behavior models in SysML v2. Manas also demonstrated navigation and digital thread exploration of SysML v2 models, generated using the standard API, in the Syndeia Web Dashboard.

Syndeia, the digital thread platform for model-based engineering from Intercax is the first application to offer production support for SysML v2 API. Syndeia 3.4 (2021) introduced the first commercial support for SysML v2 API (2021-03 release), and Syndeia 3.5 (released Sep 2022) includes support for the latest baseline of the SysML v2 API, including configuration management concepts such as branches and tags.

For more details on Syndeia’s commercial support for SysML v2 API, please click here.

OpenMBEE Workshop (Jan 30-31, 2023)

On Tue, Jan 31st, the OpenMBEE Workshop held a vendor poster session. Lonnie VanZandt, Intercax’s Principal Solutions Architect, presented a poster titled “Syndeia – Weaving the future of Digital Threads and Digital Engineering”. The poster presented a 360 degree view of the Syndeia platform – integrations, digital thread building, digital thread API and data science, analytics and dashboard, graph queries, model transformation, digital pipelines, and cybersecurity. A PDF version of the poster is included here.

Commercial vendors supporting the OpenMBEE community who presented during the 3 hour event included Intercax, and others listed here. Attendees to the session toured the poster talks and heard from subject matter experts about their organization’s role in the OpenMBEE ecosystem. Intercax staff had the chance to discuss Syndeia’s capabilities to both contribute digital engineering information into OpenMBEE deployments as well as to retrieve such information to fuse it with Syndeia Digital Threads that can span beyond an OpenMBEE scope. Longtime Syndeia advocates from NASA JPL, partners with Intercax, and several new contacts from Aerospace and Medical industries stopped by to hear and ask about Syndeia, the digital thread platform for model-based engineering – including OpenMBEE digital engineering.

OpenMBEE is an integrated set of software applications and services which replaces silos of information with consistent, traceable, and precise engineering models and documents. The goal of OpenMBEE is to provide a common platform for engineers and analysts to collaborate on the development and analysis of large and complex systems – such as those conceived and built by INCOSE’s members. Intercax’s Syndeia product has a dual and powerful integration with OpenMBEE.

  • OpenMBEE can leverage Syndeia’s digital thread platform and integrations to bring information from a diverse set of enterprise repositories, connect them, and build documents and views for systems engineers, such as interface control documents (ICDs) as rapid tables in OpenMBEE View Editor. See the section titled “Digital Thread API and OpenMBEE” in the poster above.
  • Syndeia 3.5 introduces a generic REST integration to connect to any enterprise tool/service that provides a REST API. OpenMBEE’s Model Management Service (MMS) provides a REST API. Syndeia users can connect to and fetch document/model data managed by OpenMBEE directly from the Syndeia Web Dashboard. Watch the demo video here.

Intercax has been participating in the OpenMBEE community for over 5 years and Syndeia has been integrating with OpenMBEE deployments as both a producer of digital engineering information into OpenMBEE and as a consumer of information from OpenMBEE. Intercax is pleased to support the future of systems engineering and encourage the use of Syndeia within the federation of OpenMBEE tools.

DoD Transition Guidance to SysML v2 Workshop (Jan 30, 2023)

The Intercax team joined US DoD / OUSD (R&E) representatives, System Integrators, Consultants, and Digital Engineering practitioners in a workshop focused on DoD transition from SysML v1 to SysML v2. The goal of the workshop was to initiate the development of best practices, approaches, cookbooks, and recommendations for the DoD related industrial projects and programs to transition from SysML v1 to v2 as SysML v2 marches towards finalization. The workshop was attended by around 40 representatives from across the defense industrial base.

As pioneers of digital thread technology and leads of SysML v2 API and Services, the Intercax team shared its views in two broad approaches.

  • It is not sufficient to only plan the transition of SysML v1 to SysML v2 models, but we must also plan the transition of digital threads built using SysML v1 models to digital threads built on SysML v2
  • SysML v2 standard API can play a crucial role in this transition. It may be possible to expose SysML v1 models using the new SysML v2 API, thereby allowing novel capabilities being developed for SysML v2 to work with SysML v1 models.

In addition to the workshops and sessions mentioned above, several working groups met to discuss, define, and promote the practice of “Digital Engineering” (DE). According to the US’s Defense Acquisition University (DAU), digital engineering is “an integrated digital approach that uses authoritative sources of systems’ data and models as a continuum across disciplines to support life cycle activities from concept through disposal.” The DAU is the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) organization that provides training, education, and career development for the DoD acquisition workforce. For the DoD, “acquisition” includes a range of activities, including requirements definition, system design and development, procurement, production, testing, deployment, and sustainment. With some hand waving, acquisition is the practice of systems engineering, at national scale.

Syndeia provides a technology for the curation of real digital threads which relate “authoritative sources of systems’ data and models as a continuum across disciplines to support life cycle activities from concept through disposal.”

Intercax therefore, understandably, encourages the digital engineering community to consider how Syndeia can enable the DoD to meet its digital engineering initiatives for acquisition and encourages all systems engineers, regardless of their focus, to envision how a practical platform for digital thread curation and programmatic query can help them more efficiently realize better systems that satisfy their key performance constraints on time and under budget.

INCOSE IW 2023 had record attendance – with the real human socially networking attendees outnumbering two to one the zoom avatars – and was, for all of us at Intercax, a welcome chance to reengage with this community of dedicated and influential systems engineers.

Contributions By:

Mr. Lonnie VanZandt is Principal Solutions Architect for Intercax where he provides customer support for Syndeia and performs research, development, and proposal preparation. He assists Intercax’s clients in understanding, adopting, and becoming proficient with the use of Syndeia and collaborative digital engineering.

Manas Bajaj

Dr. Manas Bajaj is the Chief Systems Officer at Intercax. He leads product research and development, including the Syndeia platform. He focuses on new tools and technologies to support digital thread, digital engineering, and MBSE/MBSE.