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Tune and Visualize Your Model with Dashboard Blocks

The blocks in the Dashboard library help you control and visualize your model during simulation and while the simulation is paused. This example uses the Model Fault-Tolerant Fuel Control System example model sldemo_fuelsys to showcase the control and visualization capabilities of Dashboard blocks. To open the model, use this command:



Dashboard blocks in parent models cannot connect to signals and tunable parameters within referenced models or across model reference boundaries. This limitation does not apply to subsystem references. Dashboard blocks in referenced models and subsystem references not supported when simulating the parent model.

Explore Connections Within the Model

The Dashboard subsystem contains blocks for controlling and visualizing signals in the Fault-Tolerant Fuel Control System model. Explore the connections between the signals and Dashboard blocks. Click either a signal or a Dashboard block to highlight the connections.

From the Dashboard subsystem, click the Toggle Switch in the Fuel panel. Hover the mouse over the ellipsis above the block and then click the arrow above it to jump to the connected block or signal.

The action menu for the Toggle Switch block is expanded. The Jump to Connected Element button is the second button from the left and has an image of the arrow

From the top level of the model, click the air_fuel_ratio signal and see the Dashboard subsystem, Quarter Gauge, and Half Gauge highlighted.

The air_fuel_ratio signal is selected in the top level of the Fault-Tolerant Fuel Control System model. Because the air_fuel_ratio signal is selected, the Dashboard subsystem is highlighted.

Simulate Changing Model States

In the Dashboard subsystem, switches provide control over the state of the throttle angle, engine speed, EGO, and MAP signals. For each sensor signal, the switch toggles between normal and fail, allowing you to simulate the system response to each single-point failure. Clicking any one of these switches before simulation, during simulation, or while a simulation is paused changes the state in the model.

Run the simulation and observe the control system response to each single-point failure.

  1. Start the simulation.

  2. As the simulation runs, click one of the switches to simulate a component failure.

    Observe the changes in the fuel and air_fuel_ratio signals in the Dashboard Scope and Gauge blocks when you flip each switch.

  3. Stop the simulation when you are finished.

The Dashboard subsystem after a simulation in which the Engine Speed switch was clicked to simulate a failure.

View Signal Data

Dashboard blocks allow you to view signal data using gauges, lamps, and dashboard scopes. In this example, the Dashboard blocks provide visual feedback about the fuel input and air-to-fuel ratio during simulation, after simulation, and while a simulation is paused.

To capture different types of information and more effectively visualize a signal, connect multiple Dashboard blocks to a single signal. For example, you can visualize the air_fuel_ratio signal using the Gauge, Quarter Gauge, and Dashboard Scope blocks.

The Gauge, Quarter Gauge, and Dashboard Scope are used to visualize the air_fuel_ratio signal. The value of the signal in this image is outside the normal range.

Use the Quarter Gauge block, labeled Normal Range in the example, to see small fluctuations in the instantaneous air_fuel_ratio signal while its value lies within the normal operational range. The Gauge block, labeled Full Range, allows you to see the behavior of the instantaneous air_fuel_ratio signal outside of the normal range. The Dashboard Scope block shows the variations of the air_fuel_ratio signal over time.

Tune Parameters During Simulation

Dashboard blocks allow you to tune parameters in your model during a simulation. To explore the tuning capability within the fuel system model, replace the engine speed Toggle Switch block with a Knob:

  1. Delete the engine speed Toggle Switch.

  2. Add a Knob block from the Dashboard library.

  3. Click the Connect button that appears when you pause on the Knob block. When you click the Connect button, the Simulink® Editor enters connect mode, which facilitates connecting Dashboard blocks to signals and parameters in your model.

    The cursor is paused on the Knob block, so the Connect button appears above the block.

  4. Navigate to the top level of the model and select the Engine Speed block. The Engine Speed block is a Constant block whose Constant value parameter you can tune with the Knob block.

    When you select the Engine Speed block, the names of tunable parameters associated with the block appear in a table.

    The table of tunable parameters that appears when you select the Engine Speed block

  5. Select the option button next to engine_speed in the table. Then, to exit connect mode, click the Exit button in the upper-right of the model canvas.

Now that the Knob block is connected to the engine_speed parameter, you can set the tick interval and range to values that make sense for the simulation. Double-click the Knob block to access the block parameters. In this example, set Minimum to 75, Maximum to 750, and Tick Interval to 75. Then, click OK.

The Knob block connected to the engine_speed parameter showing a minimum value of 75 and a maximum value of 750 in increments of 75.

Simulate the model and tune the engine_speed parameter using the Knob.

  1. Start the simulation.

  2. As the simulation runs, drag the pointer on the Knob to adjust the value of engine_speed.

    Notice as you use the Knob to adjust the value of engine_speed, the air_fuel_ratio value displayed on the Gauge blocks and in the Dashboard Scope block changes.

  3. Stop the simulation when you have finished tuning the parameter.

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