The Block Diagram. The Structure of the System.

What is a block diagram, why is it important and what properties and elements do block diagrams have?

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Example of a block diagram
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A block diagram helps us understand systems – hardware and software systems as well as business processes and operations.

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An interface specifies operations and signals that are used or realized by blocks.

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A realized relationship expresses that the block has realized the interface. This relationship is indicated by a green dotted line with an arrow – the arrow points to the interface.

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A block visualizes a system building block and describes logical and physical system components. An open block shows additional properties like parts or references etc.

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An aggregation shows, just like a composition, how the whole is comprised of its parts. The lifespan of these parts is connected to that of the whole. If the aggregate block is deleted, block parts are also deleted.

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A block diagram gives you a quick overview of system building blocks and their relationship with each other.

What is a Block Diagram?

A block diagram is a graphical representation of a system – it provides a functional view of a system. Block diagrams give us a better understanding of a system’s functions and help create interconnections within it. Block diagrams derive their name from the rectangular elements found in this type of diagram. They are used to describe hardware and software systems as well as to represent processes. Block diagrams are described and defined according to their function and structure as well as their relationship with other blocks.

What is a Block?

Blocks or system building blocks are modular structures within SysML (Systems Modeling Language) that represent statistical concepts and objects in the system. In the world of software development, for example, blocks describe data elements and operators or control flow elements. A block in a block diagram describes many identifiable properties that, taken together, define the block in question. Blocks describe a system as a collection of parts that play a particular role in a specific context.

Why are block diagrams important?

A block diagram is an essential method used to develop and describe hardware or software systems as well as represent their workflows and processes. Block diagrams are used in electronics to represent systems and their shifting e.g. mechatronic systems in the trucking industry.

Block diagrams are generally used when the visualization of information or control flows is important – or when processes are involved. In this way we can represent complex algorithms or flows of information or communication among individual components within a large system as with, for example, in a facility designed for mass production. A graphical representation is often easier to understand than a textual representation.