Conceptual design is a crucial system lifecycle stage; but systematic methods for conceptual design evaluation are not well developed, and existing approaches are not satisfactory. In this work we describe implementation and assessment of an advanced simulation environment that can serve conceptual design evaluation purposes using Object-Process Methodology (OPM). The simulation exploits two major advantages of the OPM modeling language: its integration of the structural and behavioral aspects of the system in a single type of diagram and the hierarchical organization of the model diagrams. Simulation of the system model is instrumental in understanding and exploring the behavioral aspects of the system under study and uncovering logical and conceptual problems, such as incorrect control flow, logical errors, and missing structural relations among objects. Understanding the model and correcting it are achieved via an intuitive user interface and a host of debugging capabilities, including “lifespan” and “Debug Info” components. Using these components, one can explore the state of any OPM entity and be aware of a variety of potential problems that are manifested during the simulation process. © 20133 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Syst Eng 16
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