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The Documenter component of the whatIf? suite is a Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tool that supports the design, documentation and implementation of simulation models. It uses linked structural diagrams as the framework for entering and managing information about model components, variables, procedures, and flows of information among model components. It provides a single point of entry for information that can be formatted as a reference manual for the model and for the files that are used to realize the model in the Scenario and Model Manager (SAMM) software.

The reference manual produced by Documenter includes a hierarchy diagram showing model components, structural diagrams for each model component, descriptive text, information about variables including units of measure, dimensions, and data sources, and the TOOL language code for each procedure and that is used to realize the model. The documenter files are managed by SAMM to assure the correspondence between them and operational realization of the model.

The diagram-drawing functionality embodies a set of conventions that distinguishes variables and procedures and displays connectivity allowing both the conceptual and procedural structure of a simulation framework to be more easily understood.

Conceptual Hierarchy
Conventions for Documenter Diagrams
  • The 'barrel' indicates a stock variable measured at an instant in time.

  • The 'pipe' indicates a flow variable measured as a rate of change.

  • The hexagon indicates a parameter or ratio variable.

  • The rectangle indicates a procedure containing the equations that transform input variables into output variables.

  • The directionality of arrows identify variables as either inputs or an outputs.

  • Small yellow rectangles indicate connectivity among sub-models.

Documenter Features

  • Documenter provides a powerful visual environment to design and document simulation frameworks using linked structural diagrams.

  • Structural diagrams are created by visually manipulating variables, procedures and connective structure The graphical user interface provides windows for entering information concerning variables, procedures and connective structure.

  • Documenter provides an integrated language-sensitive editor for coding the equations in each procedure in the TOOL language.

  • Documenter produces a detailed and comprehensive document describing framework structure.

  • Documenter assures that documentation is accurate, up-to-date and complete as it is an integral part of the process of model development.

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