Skip to content

Modelon Impact Terminology🔗


Application programming interface (API) is a defined connection between Modelon Impact and other programs. Modelon Impact has the following defined APIs: Python.

Assimulo simulation package🔗

Assimulo is a simulation package for solving ordinary differential equations. Further documentation.


Annotations are parts of Modelica models that store additional information about a model. Any class, instance and equation may have an annotation. Examples of what is stored in form of annotations are documentation, icon, version number and model specific default solver settings.

Boundary condition🔗

Boundary condition is something that is given during a simulation, I.e. it isn’t solved but a specified condition. To run a simulation, typically a boundary condition is applied to a component or system model. The result is a simulation model, e.g. a model that can be simulated or executed. The can be seen as a virtual experiment, e.g answering the question how would this component or system behave, under these conditions (specified as boundary conditions).


An application to access the World Wide Web. Modelon Impact is accessed through a browser regardless of set-up. Modelon Impact works with chromium browsers such as Edge, Chrome and Opera. Other browsers such as Firefox and Safari will result in an error message.


The canvas is the central area of the Modelon Impact GUI. The canvas is where model diagram layers are shown and edited, and also where result is presented in form of stickies and plots.


The order in which variables are solved.


The fundamental structuring unit of modeling in Modelica is the class. Classes provide the structure for objects, also known as instances. Classes can contain equations which provide the basis for the executable code that is used for computation in Modelica. Conventional algorithmic code can also be part of classes. All data objects in Modelica are instantiated from classes, including the basic data types – Real, Integer, String, Boolean – and enumeration types, which are built-in classes or class schemata. Declarations are the syntactic constructs needed to introduce classes and objects (i.e., components). Source:

Custom function🔗

A custom function is an integrated Python interface to Modelon Impact. With a custom function a user can define a function that does a computation or another operation on an FMU or a model, call it from the simulation browser and return back the result to the result browser.


Component in Modelica usually refers to a component model, e.g. a model describing some behavioral aspect of a physical component or part. A component model is defined by a Modelica class, I.e. a set of variables and equations. A component has to be balanced, I.e. have the same number of unknowns as equations, however that may assume that some connector variables will be assigned from the outside, e.g. adjacent components in a system, or directly defined as boundary conditions. Component models can therefore not usually be simulated, or executed, in itself. Component may also refer to a particular instance of a component model.


Before a simulation, a model must be compiled and execute all algorithms.

Compilation is the process of converting acausal equations of a Modelica model to executable code. That involves symbolic processing of the model equations, as well as integration with numerical solvers and compilation to machine executable code. Modelon Impact use the FMI standard for compiled models, and the output of the compilation process consequently is an FMU.

Compilation error🔗

Compilation error a failure in the compilation process means that the Modelica code couldn’t be converted to executable code. This is can be due to an error in the Modelica code so that it cannot be interpreted properly, or that the specified model is for some reason not possible to formulate as a DAE. If compilation of a model fails, Modelon Impact will provide an error log that will aid in identifying the problem.


Connector is a specialized Modelica class that define how components interact. In contrast to signal based modeling tools, a connection typically carry information both ways in Modelica. A connector may define one or more variables, and certain variable types (flow and stream) are available for connectors. Connectors don’t impose causality for variables. When two components are connected by dragging a line from one connector to the other, a “connect statement” is created. In the compilation process, the connect statement is converted to equations depending on the variables types in the connector. Ordinary variables are set equal to each other, and for flow variables the sum is computed and set equal to zero.


When simulating a CS FMU, the numerical solver is embedded and supplied by the exporting tool. The importing tool will set the inputs, tell the FMU to step forward a given time, and then read the outputs. Modelon blog post.


DAE – Differential-algebraic system of equations, is a system of equations that either contains differential equations and algebraic equations. Modelica is a high-level language for specifying DAEs.


Desktop A desktop computer is a personal computer designed for regular use at a single location. A Desktop installation of Modelon Impact refers t the installation only being available in a specific computer.

Detail panel🔗

Detail panel Area to the right of Model Canvas used to configure model, set up experiments and access simulation results.

Diagram layer🔗

Diagram layer The diagram layer of a model shows all component model instances, connections and other objects with a Diagram-annotation. The diagram layer is rendered from component model icon layers, component instances location annotations and line annotations of connect statements. It’s also possible to edit the model directly in the diagram layer. If components are added, moved or removed, the corresponding changes are immediately applied to the Modelica code by Modelon Impact. The diagram layer is a powerful way of visualizing an equation-based model.

Digital twin🔗

Digital twin A digital twin is a virtual representation that serves as the real-time digital counterpart of a physical object or process. Digital Twin in Wikipedia

Dynamic analysis🔗

Dynamic analysis Analysing the dynamic, e.g. time-dependent, behavior of a system.

Dynamic model🔗

Dynamic model is a model of a system or component that describe a least some aspect of the system dynamics, I.e. how the system will behave over time. In Modelica this means that the time-derivative of at least one variable is involved in some model equation.

Dynamic simulation🔗

Dynamic simulation means simulating a dynamic model over time, I.e. answering the question if I start at a certain time in a certain (dynamic) state, what will the (dynamic) state be in a future point in time. Technically this means numerical integration with respect to time for the dynamic state varaibles, that the dynamic model gives derivatives for.

Dynamic state variables🔗

Dynamic state variables are the variables that the numerical solver integrate over time during the simulation. Intuitively, they can be seen as the model degrees of freedom, I.e. at any given point in time, all model variables are determined by the values of the dynamic state variables and the boundary conditions.

Model Exchange FMU🔗

Model Exchange FMU In a ME FMU, the numerical solver is supplied by the importing tool. The FMU provides functions to set the state and inputs, and to compute the state derivatives (i.e., the left hand side of the equation). The solver in the importing tool will determine what time steps to use, and how to compute the state at the next time step. Modelon blog post.


Execute to run executable code


An experiment is the process of extracting information from a system by exercising its inputs. The term can be used for a model that is balanced without assuming any external inputs, e.g. the model includes both boundary conditions and some model that should be solved under said boundary conditions. Impact also has an “experimentation mode” where additional experiments can be created from one and the same model, effectively those experiments are sets of model parameters that will be applied to the model in the execution of those experiments.


Extend is the Modelica keyword for inheritance. A class may extend some other class and thereby applies all of the extended classes objects to itself. Inheritance can be seen as a form of copying, but the actual copying doesn’t take place until the model is compiled. Inheritance is a powerful concept that allows code-reuse and creation of configurable models. Multiple models may inherit the same class (then usually called a base-class), and a model may declare replaceable objects which allows users to change between different classes that inherit a certain base-class.


FMI – Functional Mock-up Interface is an open standard interface for excange of dynamic models. Modelon Impact use it to represnt compiled models.

FMU file🔗

FMU file an FMU contains a simulation model that adheres to the FMI standard. Tags Model Exchange, Co-Simulation


Final is a Modelica keyword that means that a parameter or constant may no longer be modified (have its value changed) at inheritance or instantiation. Normally, parameters and constant values may be changed at inheritance and instantiation.


Git is an open source distributed version control system. Documentation on GIT.


GUI – Grapchical User Interface allows the user to access Modelon Impact’s functionality through the use of a mouse by clicking of icons and accessing menues in the system. Modelon Impact GUI consists of four (4) main areas: App bar, Workspace panel, Details panel and Model canvas.

Hierarchical System Modeling🔗

A hierarchical model is a model in which lower levels are sorted under a hierarchy of successively higher-level units.

Hybrid Systems🔗

Hybrid Systems a system that combines continuous time and discrete time equations. The discrete part can come from sampling, a state graph or any logical operation in the physical model. They are normally more difficult to integrate and require specific solvers that are efficient in event handling.

Icon Layer🔗

The icon layer defines the appearance of a component model in the package browser and in on the diagram layer of another model if it is instantiated there. Drawing nice icons of models both improve the visual appearance and readability of a model.


Inheritance is when a class, like a model, function or package, takes all objects and properties of a different class and applies to itself.


Instantiation can be seen as the manifestation of a class. The class describes how a component or system behaves, but to simulate it, an instance is needed. Only instance variables are computed when a model is simulated. In Impact, classes are collected in the Workspace panel (left side) and instances are created by drag-and-drop to the model canvas (center). Values given to parameters in classes are merely default values and may be changed for every instance. This is done by clicking on the component instance on the canvas, and giving values in the Details panel (right side).


Initialization means solving all model variables at the start time. Usually the start time is t = 0.

Iteration Variables🔗

Iteration Variables are variables that Modelon Impact iterate in order to solve a system of equations, when it cannot be solved by forward-calculations only. The process involve evaluating the model variables for assumed values of the iteration variables, testing then as solution and finding new values closer to the solution. Iteration variables can be selected automatically by Impact, or defined manually by the model author by means of annotations.


Intervals refers to the time gaps between result points in from a dynamic simulation. In the result points the solver has ensured that the model equations are fullfilled to a certain tolerance. In between those time points result points are interpolated to produce plots. How many intervals or the time between result points can be specified by soler settings in Impact.

Inspect Component🔗

Inspect Component means that you peek into an instantiated component while still keeing the current class open. Compared to “Open class” you cannot edit anything while inspecting a component, however what you see there will reflect any modifications to the instance done in the open class.

Jupyter Lab🔗

JupyterLab is the latest web-based interactive development environment for notebooks, code, and data.

Jupyter Notebook🔗

The Jupyter Notebook is a web-based interactive computing platform. The notebook combines live code, equations, narrative text and visualizations. Jupyter Notebook's documentation page.


Kubernetes, also known as K8s, is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes' documentation page

Library browser🔗

Library browser is the part of the Workspace panel where you see and browse read-only Modelica libraries that is included in your Modelon Impact.


Offical release of components, exampel models and tutorials, usually provided as read-only.

Linear System🔗

Linear System is a system of linear equations involving the same set of variables.


Linearize means to create a linear approximation of a system of nonlinear equations, by computing derivatives of non-linear parts at a certain point, and using those as coefficients.


Log is a record of an event. Modelon Impact show compilation logs and simulation logs.


Broadly, a model of a system is anything an experiment can be applied to in order to answer questions about that system. In Impact a model is a class comprising a number of equations that describe the physical behavior of a system or component. A component model may require that variables are assigned externally, while a model that doesn’t require external input is called a simulation model and can be simulated as it is.

Model canvas🔗

Model canvas – See “Canvas”


Modelica - language for creating models used in Impact. Modelica's documentation page.

Navigation bar is top part of Modelon Impact graphical user interface (GUI), displays in which mode the user is in, model, experiment or result as well as provide access to setting, help center and support.

Non-linear System🔗

Non-linear System is a system of nonlinear equations involving the same set of variables. These are solved numerically by means of tearing. That means that a set of unknown variables are taken as iteration variables, their values are guessed, and the rest of the variables in the system are computed from these. All equations of the system will not hold when values different from the solution is used. Those are called residual equations. The residuals for a certain variable guess can be used to find better guesses and eventually the solution to the non-linear system, where all equations hold.


The OPTIMICA Compiler Toolkit (OCT) is the calculation engine (both compiler and solver) used by Modelon Impact. It comes with a Modelica compiler with capabilities beyond dynamic simulation by offering unique features for optimization and steady-state computations. OCT.


On-premise On-premises software is installed and runs on computers on the premises of the organization using the software. Modelon Impact On-premise installation is available to all users within an organization that has a valid license.

Over-constrained model🔗

Over-constrained model is a model with more equations than unknown variables. It is normally not allowed in Modelica, with one exception, see the Modelica Language Specification.


Package is a container class to collect models and other classes with the purpose of organizing library content. A package may contain other packages, classes and constants. The equivalent to a folder in a file system. All libraries are packages.


Parameter is similar to a model variable, but may not vary over time. Parameters may be given default values in model, get changed at inheritance and instantiation (except if they have a final prefix). Parameters may be computed from other parameters. Parameters may also be implicitly defined, by giving a fixed=false attribute and providing an initial equation from which it can be solved. In this case the parameter value is solved for during initialization. A parameter is structural if it influence the numerical structure of the model, like the number of equations. Structural parameters values are determined at model compilation. Other parameter values can be changed without need of re-compiling the model.

Parameterization means to assign values to a models parameters.

Rest API🔗

A REST API is an application programming interface (API or web API) that conforms to the constraints of REST architectural style and allows for interaction with RESTful web services. Modelon Impact REST API.


Record is a Modelica class that may only include variable, parameter and constants, but not equations or algorithms. They are typically used for collecting paraemters or variables, to make them easier to find or propagate.


Replacing a component with a compatible component is referred to as redeclaring the component model. Components that can be redeclared are said to be replaceable and are shown with dashed line borders in the model canvas. From a Modelica point-of-view, redeclare means to change the class of an instance or local class.


Simulate means to solve all model equations so that values of all varaibles become known.

A simulation is an experiment performed on a model.


Solver is the part of Impact that computes the resulting time-trajectories of all model variables during simulation. From the start time, the solver evaluates the model equations to obtain the time-derivatives of the dynamic state variables. Those derivatives are used to compute state variable values in future time points. Different solvers are available and will perform differently.

Steady state🔗

A time-independent simulation. A steady-state model is a model that gives the performance of a system or component uner certain conditions assuming it is left in those conditions until the modelled aspect is no longer changing. A steady-state model consists of algebraic equations, while a dynamic model also includes differential equations. A dynamic model can also be solved in steady-state by giving the boundary condition that all derivatives are zero. Since model equations are typically non-linear, solving industrial steady-state problems means solving large non-linear systems.

State – See Dynamic state variable.


Stickies are used in Modelon Impact to visualize parameters and variables in the model canvas. Go to Stickies.


A system is an object or collection of objects whose properties we want to study


Additional document or content accessed in a Workspace or Details panel.


Templates – model examples designed so the user can select components to insert. Tempaltes are found in the library documentation and found through the filter function in the Workspace panel.


programs used to access advanced Modelon Impact capabilities such as VS Code, Jupyter Hub, Jupyter Lab, Jupyter Notebook.


Step by step instructions from an engineering question to a result. A workflow can be automated or be a set of documented instructions.


The workspace is where a user stores models and experiments.

Workspace panel🔗

The Workspace panel shows active workspaces and libraries and their content. Filter function helps find relevant components and models.

Version Control🔗

Version control is the practice of tracking and managing changes to software code.


Variable is the notation for value that may change over time (during simulation). A variable may be given a value explicitly, or need to be solved from model equations.