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Extendable Physical Unit Checking with Understandable Error Reporting

By Peter Aronsson and David Broman

Abstract

Dimensional analysis and physical unit checking are important tools for helping users to detect and correct mistakes in dynamic mathematical models. To make tools useful in a broad range of domains, it is important to also support other units than the SI standard. For instance, such units are common in biochemical or financial modeling. Furthermore, if two or more units turn out be in conflict after checking, it is vital that the reported unit information is given in an understandable format for the user, e.g., “N.m ” should preferably be shown instead of “m2.kg.s-2”, even if they represent the same unit. Presently, there is no standardized solution to handle these problems for Modelica models. The contribution presented in this paper is twofold. Firstly, we propose an extension to the Modelica language that makes it possible for a library designer to define both new base units and derived units within Modelica models and packets. Today this information is implicitly defined in the specification. Secondly, we describe and analyze a solution to the problem of presenting units to users in a more convenient way, based on an algorithm using Mixed Integer Programming (MIP). Both solutions are implemented, tested, and illustrated with several examples

Topics: dimensional analysis, unit checking, dimensions, error
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.159.3739
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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