Definition

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Design View

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.
                                   - John Gall, Systemantics

A design view is a means of organising design information. It expresses a design in terms of a set of design entity(s) (refer Figure 1). A complete design describes all design entities and their attributes. In contrast a design view looks at:

  • A subset of the design entities where the design view gives design information about part of the system (for example a particular sub-system).
  • A subset of the design attributes where the design view gives a certain type of information about the entire system (for example the functional safety aspects of the design).
  • Both the design entities and design attributes subsets where the design view gives a certain type of information about part of the system (for example component interface specifications).

Figure 1 Relationship of design views to design entities

Desiogn view

Organising information into design views is important for the following reasons:

  • It allows complex systems to be logically partitioned so multiple development teams can coordinate their efforts, each team focusing on their particular design view.
  • It decreases the scope, and thus the complexity, of information that is presented at any one time.
  • It makes it easier to consider some information globally, without it being clouded with extraneous information.

Example:

A decomposition description is an example of a design view. The decomposition description in Figure 2 expresses the design in terms of a hierarchy using the design entities "system", "sub-system", "module" and "routine".

Figure 2 A design view expressed as a decomposition description

Decomposition description
Collaboration

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