We present a simulation and design framework for simultaneously designing and modeling electromechanical systems. By instantiating component objects in our software and connecting them to each other via ports, the designer configures complex systems.

Interactions are the physical phenomena that occur at the interfaces between connected components. Most of the research in configuration design has focused on modeling components, with very little attention paid to the dynamics of the interaction phenomena. To obtain an accurate virtual prototype, the interaction dynamics must also be captured in behavioral models.

All interactions between components are mediated by ports. We introduce port and interaction model taxonomies, and provide a set-theoretic formalism that defines the algebra of port and interaction models. In addition, the formalism supports automatic instantiation of interaction models given the types of the connected ports, as well as the ability to replace one interaction model for another depending on the requirements of the desired simulation experiment. We illustrate our framework with an example.

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