Understanding the Modes of Operation Construct in .NET

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Understanding the Modes of Operation Construct
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Modes of operation can be depicted graphically or in tabular form. Since SEs communicate with graphics, we will employ the basic construct shown in Figure 19.3. The construct is divided into pre-mission, mission, and postmission phases of operation to facilitate a left to right control ow. Although each of these phases of operation may consist of one or more modes of operation, only one mode is shown in each phase for simplicity. Other than a general left-to-right cyclical work ow (pre-mission to mission to postmission), modes of operation are both time dependent and time independent. Many systems establish Mission Event Timelines (METs) that constrain: 1) the pre-mission-to-mission transition, 2) mission-topost-mission transition, and 3) post-mission-back to pre-mission transition during the system turnaround. Within each mode of operation the MET event constraints may be further subdivided.
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Understanding System Modal Transitions
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The preceding discussion highlights the identi cation of system modes of operation by phase and the transition diagram used to modal interactions. Based on this understanding, we are now ready to investigate the stimulus or triggering events and conditions that initiate transition from one mode to another.
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System Phases, Modes, and States of Operation
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Pre-Mission Phase
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Mission Phase
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Post-Mission Phase
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Mode 2 2
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Mode 1 Mode 3
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Figure 19.3 Basic Phase and Modes of Operation Construct
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Note that each mode in Figure 19.3 is interconnected via curved lines with arrows that represent transitions from one mode to another. These transitions are initiated by pre-de ned triggering events or conditions. Our discussion here focuses on the entity relationships of phases, modes, use cases, use case scenarios, and required operational capabilities. The question is: What causes a system, product, or service to transition from one phase, mode, and use case to another during a mission This brings us to a discussion of triggering events. Triggering Event-Based Transitions. Most systems, as state machines, are designed to cycle within a given mode of operation until some external stimulus such as an operator initiates a transition to a new mode of operation. The occurrence of the external stimulus is marked as a triggering event. As discussed earlier, the triggering event may be data or interrupt driven whereby: 1. The system receives data from an external system. 2. A system User enters/inputs data into the system in accordance with prescribed Standard Operating Practices and Procedures (SOPPs) or rules of engagement to transition to the next phase or mode of operation. Data-driven triggering events may be synchronous (i.e., periodic) or asynchronous (i.e., random) occurrences. When making the transition from one mode to another, the User may impose speci c time requirements and constraints. Figure 19.4 illustrates a simple, two-mode system that transitions from Mode 1 to Mode 2 when triggering Event 1 occurs and from Mode 2 back to Mode 1 on triggering Event 2. Triggering event transitions from Mode 1 to Mode 2 and back to Mode 1 require different sets of assumptions and conditions. The graphic depicts the bidirectional transition as two separate transitions, T1 and T2. For T1, some external triggering Event t1 initiates the transition from Mode 1 to Mode 2; transition to Mode 2 is completed at Event t2. Some time later, another stimulus triggers Event t3, which initiates a transition from Mode 2 to back to Mode 1; transition to Mode 1 is completed by Event t4.
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19.4 Understanding System Modes of Operation
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External Stimulus or Cue
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Time Constraints
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System
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Event 1
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Event 2
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Transition
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Mode 1
Transition
Mode 2
Event 4
Event 3
External Stimulus or Cue
Figure 19.4 Modal Transition Loop Construct
Author s Note 19.6 The system development team must establish the convention for transitioning from one mode of operation to another. For example, do you establish an entry criterion for the next mode or an exit criterion for the current mode Typically a mode does not have both entry and exit criteria. Why The transition from the current mode, n, to the next mode, n + 1, is a single transition. You do not specify the exit criterion for the current mode and then specify that same condition as the entry criterion for the other side of the modal interface. In most applications, the best approach is to de ne only the exit criterion for the current mode of operation. Describing Modal Transitions. Once you establish a conceptual view of the system phases and modes, the next step is to characterize the triggering events and conditions for initiating the modal transitions. One mechanism for accomplishing this is the mode transition table shown in Table 19.2. In general, Table 19.2 depicts how a system transitions from its current mode: leftmost column to the next mode, which is the rightmost column. Interior columns de ne information relating to the transition conditions. Each row in the table represents a single mode of operation and includes a numerical transition ID. Transition information includes: identi cation of the triggering source or event, the type of event asynchronous or synchronous and any transition resource or time constraints for completion of the transition. Consider the following example from Table 19.2.