Jean-Luc Voirin - (C) THALES 2008-2023


ARCADIA is a tooled method devoted to systems & architecture engineering, supported by Capella modelling tool .      
It describes the detailed reasoning to

It can be applied to complex systems, equipment, software or hardware architecture definition,
especially those dealing with strong constraints to be reconciled (cost, performance, safety, security, reuse, consumption, weight…).
It is intended to be used by most stakeholders in system/product/software or hardware definition and IVVQ as their common engineering reference.

ARCADIA stands for ARChitecture Analysis and Design Integrated Approach.


This reference describes the Arcadia method as an Arcadia-compliant model in Capella.

For more explanations on the method, on the language, illustrated by detailled examples of application, please refer to the Arcadia reference book:

Jean-Luc Voirin, ‘Model-based System and Architecture Engineering with the Arcadia Method’, ISTE Press, London & Elsevier, Oxford, 2017



Arcadia Engineering Landscape

This chapter is a brief introduction to Engineering Concerns addressed by Arcadia, describing what features and services can be expected from Arcadia in the field of Engineering.

It could be considered both as a very quick introduction to key aspects of engineering,
and as a short set of user needs & expectations for Arcadia.


Who is interested in applying Arcadia? For which purpose?

Arcadia can assist many stakeholders involved in System architecture definition & design (and also software or hardware architectures to some extent), as illustrated in  Arcadia Stakeholders  figure.

For each of these engineering stakeholders, examples of different engineering tasks that they have to perform, likely to take benefit from applying Arcadia, are described in  Engineering Stakeholders & Tasks .

Main important objectives of engineering teams (not exhaustive!) are presented in Engineering Stakeholders required Missions and Capabilities . A few operational processes illustrate which stakeholders tasks can mainly contribute to each capability.


What kind of assistance can Arcadia provide to Engineering?


The figure Required Support to Engineering Processes  freely depicts core engineering tasks, based on the so-called Technical Processes of   ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288:2015 'Systems and software engineering — System life cycle processes'  standard, including their presentation in  INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook . The lower part defines main ( partial ) support that Arcadia can bring to these processes, through the main perspectives and services brought by the method to stakeholders.

Complementary services expected from Arcadia to support collaboration between engineering stakeholders and teams  are introduced in figure Support to Collaboration & System Analysis .

Main expected Capabilities  presents focused capabilities expected from Arcadia according to engineering objectives, illustrated by simplified processes involving the former Arcadia services.



Arcadia User Guide

This chapter provides a high level view of engineering activities defined and supported by Arcadia, their relations, and engineering information that they build or exploit.


What are the major Arcadia perspectives & concepts?

The figure  High level View of the Method introduces the major aspects (called perspectives) of Arcadia framing for engineering. A first level of detail focusing on core perspectives structuring both definition and collaboration is given in First Level Tasks of Architecture Definition Perspectives .

Refer to the description of each task for detailled explanation of contents.

The engineering assets (models) defined and shared by each of the former perspectives are introduced in figure High level View of Model Contents , and a bit more detailled in Architecture Model Contents , introducing main concepts of Arcadia language.

The interactions between these Arcadia-supported tasks and other concerns of engineering are described in First Level Tasks and exchanges . The way they contribute to expected capabilities introduced above is illustrated in Major Engineering Capabilities . Involved processes are depicted in colors in Use of Definition Perspectives in Engineering Capabilities for a more global vision.

Arcadia is based on the use of models to support engineering rather than on documents. However, if needed, documents required by standards can be produced (automatically intended) from models, as illustrated in Document Building .

Models management tasks are introduced in Models Management .


How can Arcadia contribute to engineering stakeholders tasks?


The figures below describe how Arcadia core perspectives and related tasks contribute to engineering stakeholders tasks identified above, indicating the kind of knowledge and information that can be extracted from Arcadia engineering data and Assets (models).

Customer Work

Chief Architect Work

Need Analysis Team Work

Data & Interface Manager Work

Non functional Specialty Engineering Work

IVVQ Manager Work

Product Line & Configuration Managers Work

Sub-contractor Work



Arcadia Reference Manual

This reference gives in-depth details and explanation on Arcadia tasks and activities contents; engineering data and links built and exploited by engineering activities; the elaboration procedures for these data; the way Arcadia addresses main engineering concerns.

Note that the Arcadia way to address engineering concerns is probably one of the most important in terms of method; yet to be fully understood, it has prerequisites that have to be described before, hence its late position in the paragraphs below - see Method guidance for key Engineering Concerns .

Many elements of description are commented, for definition or guidance in the way to practice and apply them. Please refer to these descriptions, including in figures. Note that in some cases of decomposed elements (such as tasks/activities, or guidances/activities), descriptions may exist at each level and are complementary.


Arcadia tasks and activities


Overview of Engineering Activities  provides a synthetic view of tasks and major categories of interactions between these tasks. This diagram can be navigated through, to discover inner activities in each of the high-level tasks. The figures below give a comprehensive view, down to elementary activities constituting each higher-level task:





Define BUILDING STRATEGY - contracts for development & IVVQ - Contents



Note that most interactions between engineering activities in these figures, are related to the engineering data that they convey between activities producing and using them. These data are described below.

For key activities, the way to elaborate data is also described in each activity description field, as indicated by <Data elaboration descr iption> tag. Engineering data mentioned in this description (identified as **data**) are described below.


Data elaborated and used by engineering activities


Overview of Engineering Data  provides the structure of engineering data, grouped in assets. This diagram is a starting point to be navigated through, to discover data definition and relations in each of the high-level assets grouping data. The figures below give a comprehensive view:

Need Description

Solution Description

Need / Solution Traceability

Integration Verification Validation

Architecture Justification

Subsystems SW HW Definition

Agile & Software

Product Line Engineering

A short definition is provided for each kind of engineering data, in its description field, including Arcadia language concepts. All data are referenced in former interactions between activities that use or produce them.


Method guidance for key Engineering Concerns


The figure  How to realise Engineering Capabilities - a short Guidance lists some major engineering capabilities and concerns or challenges, and the way Arcadia suggests to address them, under the form of processes traversing the former activities and creating or exploiting former data:

From Need to Solution

Traversing Non-functional Issues

The Interface Trip

From Definition & Design to Validation

From System to Sub-systems, SW, HW

Agility in Engineering Course

Product Line Definition

Project Definition from Product Line

Value-driven Engineering Course

For each step of each process, involving an engineering task or activity, the description gives some hints and methological recommendations. These recommendations are complementary with the description of the involved activity per se, in the context of the engineering concern and the process.


Annex: Formal definition or Arcadia language meta-model


A more formalised description of ARCADIA meta-model is given below, including simplified definitions in each concept description  (more explanations in source: Voirin J.-L., Model-based System and Architecture Engineering with the Arcadia Method, ISTE Press, London & Elsevier, Oxford, 2017. ©Thales-ISTE):

Formal Description of Arcadia Language Concepts - overview  gives an introduction; full details are given in the following figures:

Functional Description Concepts & MetaModel
Operational Description Concepts & MetaModel
Modes & States Description Concepts & MetaModel
Structural Description Concepts & MetaModel
Structural operational Description Concepts & MetaModel
Functional Vs Structural Description Concepts & MetaModel
Functional Vs Structural operational Description Concepts & MetaModel
Functional Chain & Scenario detailled Concepts & MetaModel
Component Scenario detailled Concepts & MetaModel
Modes & States Vs Functional and Structural Descriptions Concepts & MetaModel
Data and Data Use Description Concepts & MetaModel


Annex: Expected Tooling Support


The figure  Modelling Support Tooling gives an initial view of modelling support to Arcadia activities in order to create, analyse and exploit Engineering Assets.



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