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Allocate functional architecture

The last step in the systems engineering process is to allocate functional architecture under physical architecture.

This step is separated in two sub-steps, flows allocation and functions allocation. Functions are allocated under components and flows under physical interfaces. This allocation comes from the physical solution of the system design. Functions are allocated under the component that performs the concerned functions and flows are allocated under physical interfaces that support them.

Allocate function

To start, we will allocate functions under components. The arKItect working view is "5.1. Allocate functions on components".

This view is showing the system and its environment, and components in the system. When entering the system, you'll find all the defined components in the physical architecture definition step. In our case, we had two components, called "Network card" and "Mainboard".

The allocation we will do is:

- Allocate the function "Interpret internet signals" under the component "Mainboard".

- Allocate the function "Capture the cabled internet connection signal" under the component "Network card".

Right click on a component ("Mainboard" in following illustrations) and choose the Add Existing Object feature (you will be asked to choose the type of object that you want to add in concerned component). In our case, we choose function.


This opens the dictionary of concerned objects (functions in this case).


On this dictionary, we have to find the function(s) we want to allocate under the component we right-clicked on. In our example, we will add the function "Interpret internet signals" because we want to allocate it under "Mainboard". We perform the same method to allocate the function "Capture the cabled internet connection signal" under the component "Network card". Once it's done, by using the expand feature, (or by entering each component) you will see functions that are allocated in.

See result and complete the allocation

Systems engineering Advanced offers you a resulting allocation view, in which you can see the allocated functions and resulting functional exchanges between components. To see this result, stay in view  "5.1.A. Show allocated functions". In our example, we will find the corresponding allocation.


As you can see here, we have a "?" symbol on a port. This is indicating us that we do not know the producer of the concerned flow (here "Captured WiFi signal"). Because we know that this flow was correctly indicated in the functional architecture ("Captured WiFi signal" is an exchange between the function "Capture the WiFi signal" and the function "Interpret internet signals"). We can deduce that it's an allocation problem. In our current physical architecture, no component is performing the function "Capture the WiFi signal".

To solve this problem, we have to allocate the missing function into an existing component or create the missing component and allocate the function in it. In our example, we will create a new component in the view "4.1. Define physical architecture" that we will call "WiFi card". Then, coming back in the view "5.1.A. Show allocated functions", we will allocate the missing function "Capture the WiFi signal" under this new component. We finally have:


Allocate flows

We also allocate flows. Flows are allocated under physical interfaces. As we created the external and internal flows, we created external and internal physical interfaces.

Keeping the examples we took for flows and physical interfaces, we will allocate:

External allocation:

  • The flow "220 V" between "Office" and "Screen" in physical interface "Electrical cable 2".
  • The flow "Internet cabled connection" between "Rooter" and "Network card" in the physical interface "Ethernet cable".

Internal allocation:

  • The flow "Captured cabled internet connection signal" between "Network card" and "Mainboard" in physical interface "PCI Interface".

To do those allocations, we use the view "5.2. Allocate flows on interfaces".

We use exactly the same method we used for functions allocations. Right-clicking on an physical interface, we choose the Add Existing Object feature, choose the type of the flow we want to allocate and in the dictionary choose the concerned flow. Clicking on the Add button will allocate the flow on the physical interface.

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