Symbolic Computation in System Simulation and Design

Brian L. Evans, Steve X. Gu, Asawaree Kalavade, and Edward A. Lee

Proc. 1995 SPIE Int. Sym. on Advanced Algorithms, Architectures, and Implementations, pp. 396-407
San Diego, CA July 9-16, 1995

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This paper examines some of the roles that symbolic computation plays in assisting system-level simulation and design. By symbolic computation, we mean programs like Mathematica that perform symbolic algebra and apply transformation rules based on algebraic identities. At a behavioral level, symbolic computation can compute parameters, generate new models, and optimize parameter settings. At the synthesis level, symbolic computation can work in tandem with synthesis tools to rewrite cascade and parallel combinations on components in sub-systems to meet design constraints. Symbolic computation represents one type of tool that may be invoked in the complex flow of the system design process. The paper discusses the qualities that a formal infrastructure for managing system design should have. The paper also describes an implementation of this infrastructure called DesignMaker, implemented in the Ptolemy environment, which manages the flow of tool invocations in an efficient manner using a graphical file dependency mechanism.