Wolfram Archive

# SchematicSolver Combines Classic Engineering with Advanced Computation

Published April 4, 2003

April 4, 2003–Created by independent developers Miroslav Lutovac and Dejan Tosic, SchematicSolver, a new Mathematica application package, allows users to draw block diagrams that are automatically turned into working simulations of their systems by Mathematica. By working directly with system schematics, engineers can use Mathematica to design and analyze systems or subsystems independently from the internal workings of individual components.

Objects in SchematicSolver can represent a physical component of a system, a logical operation, or any mathematical function or program. They can be selected from a standard library, imported from another program, or custom designed with Mathematica. When an object receives the necessary input, it executes, changes its internal state if necessary, and passes output to other objects as designated by the user’s diagram. SchematicSolver can manage object interactions with both numeric and symbolic Mathematica functions in either discrete time (digital) or continuous time (analog).

In solving the system described by the user’s diagram, SchematicSolver can:

• Generate the system equations
• Compute the system response and transfer functions
• Generate the software implementation
• Plot the frequency and time response

The developers of SchematicSolver were motivated by their own experiences as teachers and working engineers.

“I wanted to make it possible for people to do their software implementation simultaneously with the symbolic system design,” says Dr. Lutovac. “SchematicSolver can make a list of computer statements directly from a schematic. I use these step-by-step procedures to implement computations on general-purpose computers or on dedicated hardware such as microprocessors, programmable logic devices, or custom integrated circuits.”

SchematicSolver is good for evaluating design ideas for new system structures,” says Dr. Tosic. “I’ve also found it helpful in verifying block diagrams and the corresponding transfer functions of systems reported in scientific and engineering literature. My students use SchematicSolver as a ‘friendly assistant’ for setting up equations that describe the system or for deriving the system response.”

Engineers using applications that allow the creation of interactive objects, such as Mathematica application packages Control System Professional Suite or Signals and Systems, will appreciate the intuitive visual interface provided by SchematicSolver. “SchematicSolver makes it easy to get started with Mathematica-based applications,” says Yezabel Dooley, Applications Product Manager at Wolfram Research. “But even Mathematica veterans can benefit from this fusion of cutting-edge computation with classic engineering design.”