Design Patterns in the IEC 61499 Architecture

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A design pattern is the formalization of an approach to a common problem within a context. The adaptation of familiar design patterns to the IEC 61499 architecture can decrease the time required both for learning and for implementing applications within this architecture. Corresponding to the definition, this adaptation consists of three major steps:

  1. Defining the problem to be solved.
  2. Defining an appropriate framework for the solution of the problem. In object-oriented design, a framework is considered to be a skeletal structure that must be fleshed out to build a complete application. In the IEC 61499 architecture, a framework will consist of a set of related types including, among others:
    • function block types
    • data types
    • resource types
    • device types
  3. Defining an engineering methodology comprising procedures for using the types in the framework to:
    • Construct appropriate devices and resources;
    • Populate the devices and resources with appropriate function blocks;
    • Establish appropriate event and data connections among the function blocks;
    • Appropriately configure the devices, resources, and function blocks;
    • Install, commission and operate the developed configurations in physical devices.

It may be necessary to specify the requirements for software tools to support the design pattern.