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Treadstone: A Process for Improving Modeling Prowess Using Validation Rules

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Systems Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

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Paper Authors


Michael J. Vinarcik P.E. University of Detroit Mercy

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Michael J. Vinarcik is a Chief Systems Engineer at SAIC and an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy. He has thirty years of automotive and defense engineering experience. He received a BS (Metallurgical Engineering) from the Ohio State University, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and an MS (Product Development) from the University of Detroit Mercy. Michael has presented at National Defense Industrial Association, International Council on Systems Engineering, and American Society for Engineering Education regional and international conferences. He is a regular speaker at the No Magic World Symposium. Michael has contributed chapters to Industrial Applications of X-ray Diffraction, Taguchi’s Quality Engineering Handbook, and Case Studies in System of Systems, Enterprise Systems, and Complex Systems Engineering; he also contributed a case study to the Systems Engineering Body of Knowledge (SEBoK). He is a licensed Professional Engineer (Michigan) and holds INCOSE ESEP-Acq, OCSMP: Model Builder – Advanced, Booz Allen Hamilton Systems Engineering Expert Belt, ASQ Certified Quality Engineer, and ASQ Certified Reliability Engineer certifications. He is a Fellow of the Engineering Society of Detroit, the President and Founder of Sigma Theta Mu, the systems honor society, and the current Treasurer of INCOSE.

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The creation of descriptive models using SysML is a skill-focused discipline; the outcomes of a modeling effort depend upon the abilities of the modelers contributing to it. Ongoing shortages of skilled modelers are inhibiting the transition of systems engineering to a model-based discipline. This paper illustrates the use of validation rules to support instruction (both stand-alone modeling exercises and a larger, collaborative modeling project). Validation rules have proven to be effective in reducing modeler errors when added incrementally in parallel with concepts introduced in class. The rules simplify grading (since the instructor can focus on value-added content instead of semantic correctness). In addition, the rules conform to the Seven Keys to Effective Feedback proposed by Grant Wiggins (Seven Keys to Effective Feedback, Educational Leadership, September 2012, Volume 70, Number 1, Pages 10-16): 1. Goal-Referenced (Error reduction/style conformance) 2. Tangible and Transparent (Rules clearly explain what is wrong) 3. Actionable (Error messages direct the modeler how to fix the issue) 4. User-Friendly (Private and mark elements with errors) 5. Timely (On demand and rapid feedback eliminates errors before they accumulate) 6. Ongoing (Available throughout the course of modeling) 7. Consistent (All students receive the same feedback) The rules were continuously updated throughout the term in which they were introduced; students corrected new errors and improved their model quality as they executed their term projects. Extracts from seven team projects will be presented and contrasted with selected past projects (subjected to the same validation rules) to demonstrate the efficacy of the approach.

Vinarcik, M. J. (2020, June), Treadstone: A Process for Improving Modeling Prowess Using Validation Rules Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35402

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