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Import model information from MATLAB tables



archModel = systemcomposer.importModel(modelName,components,ports,connections,portInterfaces,requirementLinks) creates a new architecture model based on MATLAB® tables that specify components, ports, connections, port interfaces, and requirement links. The only required input arguments are modelName and the components table. For empty table input arguments, enter table.empty. However, trailing empty tables are ignored and do not need to be entered. To import a basic architecture model, see Define Basic Architecture. To import requirementLinks, you need a Requirements Toolbox™ license.

archModel = systemcomposer.importModel(modelName,importStruct) creates a new architecture model based on a structure of MATLAB tables that have prescribed formats to specify model element relationships, stereotypes, and properties. For more information on the import structure, see Import and Export Architecture Models.

[archModel,idMappingTable,importLog,errorLog] = systemcomposer.importModel(___) creates a new architecture model with output arguments idMappingTable with table information, importLog to display import information, and errorLog to display import error information. All previous syntax descriptions are included.


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In System Composer™, an architecture is fully defined by three sets of information:

  • Component information

  • Port information

  • Connection information

You can import an architecture into System Composer when this information is defined in or converted into MATLAB® tables.

In this example, the architecture information of a simple unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system is defined in a Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet and is used to create a System Composer architecture model. It also links elements to the specified system level requirement. You can modify the files in this example to import architectures defined in external tools, when the data includes the required information. The example also shows how to export this architecture information from System Composer architecture model to an Excel spreadsheet.

Architecture Definition Data

You can characterize the architecture as a network of components and import by defining components, ports, connections, interfaces and requirement links in MATLAB tables. The components table must include name, unique ID, and parent component ID for each component. The spreadsheet can also include other relevant information required to construct the architecture hierarchy for referenced model, and stereotype qualifier names. The ports table must include port name, direction, component, and port ID information. Port interface information may also be required to assign ports to components. The connections table includes information to connect ports. At a minimum, this table must include the connection ID, source port ID, and destination port ID.

The systemcomposer.importModel(importModelName) function:

  • Reads stereotype names from the components table and loads the profiles

  • Creates components and attaches ports

  • Creates connections using the connection map

  • Sets interfaces on ports

  • Links elements to specified requirements (requires a Requirements Toolbox™ license)

  • Saves referenced models

  • Saves the architecture model

Instantiate adapter class to read from Excel.

modelName = "simpleUAVArchitecture";

ImportModelFromExcel function reads the Excel file and creates the MATLAB tables.

importAdapter = ImportModelFromExcel("SmallUAVModel.xls","Components", ...

Import an Architecture

model = systemcomposer.importModel(modelName,importAdapter.Components, ...
    importAdapter.Ports,importAdapter.Connections,importAdapter.Interfaces, ...

Auto-arrange blocks in the generated model.



Export an Architecture

You can export an architecture to MATLAB tables and then convert the tables to an external file.

exportedSet = systemcomposer.exportModel(modelName);

The output of the function is a structure that contains the component table, port table, connection table, the interface table, and the requirement links table. Save this structure to an Excel file.


Input Arguments

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Name of model to be created, specified as a character vector or string.

Example: 'importedModel'

Data Types: char | string

Model component information, specified as a MATLAB table. The component table must include the columns Name, ID, and ParentID. To specify ComponentType as Variant, Composition (default), StateflowBehavior, or Behavior (reference components and subsystem components) and to set a ReferenceModelName, see Import Variant Components, Stateflow Behaviors, or Reference Components. To apply stereotypes using StereotypeNames and set property values to components, see Apply Stereotypes and Set Property Values on Imported Model.

Data Types: table

Model port information, specified as a MATLAB table. The ports table must include the columns Name, Direction, ID, and CompID. The Direction column can have values Input, Output, or Physical. The optional column InterfaceID specifies the interface. portInterfaces information may also be required to assign interfaces to ports.

Data Types: table

Model connections information, specified as a MATLAB table. The connections table must include the columns Name, ID, SourcePortID, and DestPortID. To specify SourceElement or DestinationElement on an architecture port, see Specify Elements on Architecture Port. Assign a stereotype using the optional column StereotypeNames. The optional Kind column can be specified as the default Data or Physical for physical connections.

Data Types: table

Model port interfaces information, specified as a MATLAB table. The port interfaces table must include the columns Name, ID, ParentID, DataType, Dimensions, Units, Complexity, Minimum, and Maximum. To import interfaces and map ports to interfaces, see Import Data Interfaces and Map Ports to Interfaces. Add a description using the option column Description. Assign a stereotype using the optional column StereotypeNames.

Data Types: table

Model requirement links information, specified as a MATLAB table. The requirement links table must include the columns Label, ID, SourceID, DestinationType, DestinationID, and Type. For an example, see Assign Requirement Links on Imported Model. To update reference requirement links from an imported file and integrate them into the model, see Update Reference Requirement Links from Imported File. Optional columns include: DestinationArifact, SourceArtifact, ReferencedReqID, Keywords, CreatedOn, CreatedBy, ModifiedOn, ModifiedBy, and Revision. A Requirements Toolbox license is required to import the requirementLinks table to a System Composer™ architecture model.

Data Types: table

Model tables, specified as a structure containing the tables components, ports, connections, portInterfaces, and requirementLinks, and a field domain. Only the components table is required. Possible values for domain are the default "System" for architecture models and "Software" for software architecture models. For software architecture models, to import a model with functions, the importStruct can have a functions field that contains function information.

For more information on the import structure, see Import and Export Architecture Models.

Data Types: struct

Output Arguments

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Handle to architecture model, specified as a systemcomposer.arch.Architecture object.

Mapping of custom IDs and internal UUIDs of elements, returned as a struct of MATLAB tables.

Data Types: struct

Confirmation that elements were imported, returned as a cell array of character vectors.

Data Types: char

Errors reported during import process, returned as a cell array of message objects. You can obtain the error text by calling the getString method on each message object. For example, errorLog.getString is used to obtain the errors reported as a string.

More About

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TermDefinitionApplicationMore Information

A System Composer architecture represents a system of components and how they interface with each other structurally and behaviorally. You can represent specific architectures using alternate views.

Different types of architectures describe different aspects of systems:

  • Functional architecture describes the flow of data in a system.

  • Logical architecture describes the intended operation of a system.

  • Physical architecture describes the platform or hardware in a system.

You can define parameters on the architecture level using the Parameter Editor.


A System Composer model is the file that contains architectural information, including components, ports, connectors, interfaces, and behaviors.

Perform operations on a model:

  • Extract the root-level architecture contained in the model.

  • Apply profiles.

  • Link interface data dictionaries.

  • Generate instances from model architecture.

A System Composer model is stored as an SLX file.

Create Architecture Model with Interfaces and Requirement Links

A component is a nontrivial, nearly independent, and replaceable part of a system that fulfills a clear function in the context of an architecture. A component defines an architectural element, such as a function, a system, hardware, software, or other conceptual entity. A component can also be a subsystem or subfunction.

Represented as a block, a component is a part of an architecture model that can be separated into reusable artifacts. Transfer information between components with:


A port is a node on a component or architecture that represents a point of interaction with its environment. A port permits the flow of information to and from other components or systems.

There are different types of ports:

  • Component ports are interaction points on the component to other components.

  • Architecture ports are ports on the boundary of the system, whether the boundary is within a component or the overall architecture model.


Connectors are lines that provide connections between ports. Connectors describe how information flows between components or architectures.

A connector allows two components to interact without defining the nature of the interaction. Set an interface on a port to define how the components interact.


TermDefinitionApplicationMore Information
interface data dictionary

An interface data dictionary is a consolidated list of all the interfaces and value types in an architecture and where they are used.

Local interfaces on a System Composer model can be saved in an interface data dictionary using the Interface Editor. You can reuse interface dictionaries between models that need to use a given set of interfaces, elements, and value types. Linked data dictionaries are stored in separate SLDD files.

data interface

A data interface defines the kind of information that flows through a port. The same interface can be assigned to multiple ports. A data interface can be composite, meaning that it can include data elements that describe the properties of an interface signal.

Data interfaces represent the information that is shared through a connector and enters or exits a component through a port. Use the Interface Editor to create and manage data interfaces and data elements and store them in an interface data dictionary for reuse between models.

data element

A data element describes a portion of an interface, such as a communication message, a calculated or measured parameter, or other decomposition of that interface.

Data interfaces are decomposed into data elements:

  • Pins or wires in a connector or harness.

  • Messages transmitted across a bus.

  • Data structures shared between components.

value type

A value type can be used as a port interface to define the atomic piece of data that flows through that port and has a top-level type, dimension, unit, complexity, minimum, maximum, and description.

You can also assign the type of data elements in data interfaces to value types. Add value types to data dictionaries using the Interface Editor so that you can reuse the value types as interfaces or data elements.

Create Value Types as Interfaces
owned interface

An owned interface is an interface that is local to a specific port and not shared in a data dictionary or the model dictionary.

Create an owned interface to represent a value type or data interface that is local to a port.

Define Owned Interfaces Local to Ports

An adapter helps connect two components with incompatible port interfaces by mapping between the two interfaces. An adapter can act as a unit delay or rate transition. You can also use an adapter for bus creation. Use the Adapter block to implement an adapter.

With an adapter, you can perform functions on the Interface Adapter dialog:

  • Create and edit mappings between input and output interfaces.

  • Apply an interface conversion UnitDelay to break an algebraic loop.

  • Apply an interface conversion RateTransition to reconcile different sample time rates for reference models.

  • When output interfaces are undefined, you can use input interfaces in bus creation mode to author owned output interfaces.

TermDefinitionApplicationMore Information

Requirements are a collection of statements describing the desired behavior and characteristics of a system. Requirements ensure system design integrity and are achievable, verifiable, unambiguous, and consistent with each other. Each level of design should have appropriate requirements.

To enhance traceability of requirements, link system, functional, customer, performance, or design requirements to components and ports. Link requirements to each other to represent derived or allocated requirements. Manage requirements from the Requirements Manager on an architecture model or through custom views. Assign test cases to requirements using the Test Manager (Simulink Test) for verification and validation.

Link and Trace Requirements
requirement set

A requirement set is a collection of requirements. You can structure the requirements hierarchically and link them to components or ports.

Use the Requirements Editor (Requirements Toolbox) to edit and refine requirements in a requirement set. Requirement sets are stored in SLREQX files. You can create a new requirement set and author requirements using Requirements Toolbox, or import requirements from supported third-party tools.

Manage Requirements
requirement link

A link is an object that relates two model-based design elements. A requirement link is a link where the destination is a requirement. You can link requirements to components or ports.

View links using the Requirements Perspective in System Composer. Select a requirement in the Requirements Browser to highlight the component or the port to which the requirement is assigned. Links are stored externally as SLMX files.

test harness

A test harness is a model that isolates the component under test with inputs, outputs, and verification blocks configured for testing scenarios. You can create a test harness for a model component or for a full model. A test harness gives you a separate testing environment for a model or a model component.

Create a test harness for a System Composer component to validate simulation results and verify design. The Interface Editor is accessible in System Composer test harness models to enable behavior testing and implementation-independent interface testing.

TermDefinitionApplicationMore Information
physical subsystem

A physical subsystem is a Simulink® subsystem with Simscape™ connections.

A physical subsystem with Simscape connections uses a physical network approach suited for simulating systems with real physical components and represents a mathematical model.

Implement Component Behavior Using Simscape
physical port

A physical port represents a Simscape physical modeling connector port called a Connection Port (Simscape).

Use physical ports to connect components in an architecture model or to enable physical systems in a Simulink subsystem.

Define Physical Ports on Component
physical connector

A physical connector can represent a nondirectional conserving connection of a specific physical domain. Connectors can also represent physical signals.

Use physical connectors to connect physical components that represent features of a system to simulate mathematically.

Architecture Model with Simscape Behavior for a DC Motor
physical interface

A physical interface defines the kind of information that flows through a physical port. The same interface can be assigned to multiple ports. A physical interface is a composite interface equivalent to a Simulink.ConnectionBus object that specifies any number of Simulink.ConnectionElement objects.

Use a physical interface to bundle physical elements to describe a physical model using at least one physical domain.

Specify Physical Interfaces on Ports
physical element

A physical element describes the decomposition of a physical interface. A physical element is equivalent to a Simulink.ConnectionElement object.

Define the Type of a physical element as a physical domain to enable use of that domain in a physical model.

Describe Component Behavior Using Simscape

Version History

Introduced in R2019a