Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Automotive Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

Chris Paredis

Committee Member

Venkat Krovi

Committee Member

Gregory Mocko

Committee Member

Ahsan Qamar

Committee Member

Denise Rizzo


This dissertation aims to facilitate the process for generating system-level simulations using new and existing product line engineering practices within a SysML reference architecture of the simulation domain. The modern passenger vehicle is becoming increasingly complex with the addition of more software-oriented features, especially Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), leading to higher numbers of recalls. To mitigate this, the result of this research is the novel Vehicle Simulation Architecture Framework (VSAF). This dissertation presents the VSAF, its innovations, and a characterization of its scalability, applicability, and initial investment vs. incremental cost tradeoffs as compared to those of current simulation practices.

The central component of the VSAF is a SysML reference architecture with two distinct perspectives: a technology-agnostic Logical System Architecture and a technology-dependent Simulation Reference Architecture. The SysML model also includes custom profiles and mapping mechanisms to relate the two perspectives to each other and to map simulation model components stored in a repository to the reference architecture. Additionally, the VSAF employs novel modeling patterns and development guidelines to direct the ideation and representation of new system features in a way that facilitates integration with the rest of the system and creation of system-level simulations at any point in the development process. Finally, the VSAF uses a formal ontology to document existing simulation model components and to allow a user to query for models that fit a desired context.

The VSAF is found to have a higher initial investment than current practices due to the setup and maintenance of the SysML reference architecture and model documentation ontology; however, the tradeoff is a significantly lower incremental cost for the generation of each simulation. Therefore, extended use of the VSAF will likely result in lower overall costs for simulations which allows for system-level testing earlier in the design process so engineers can uncover more issues earlier while they are less costly to fix. Additionally, earlier simulation activities lead to a broader exploration of system architectures so engineers can design more optimized systems. All of this translates into economic competitive advantages for industry as well as safer and more reliable systems for the consumer.

Author ORCID Identifier




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