ASM info/material items

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When you use a blue ellipse on a diagram, this ellipse is a 'deliverable'. The deliverable represents the collection of 'stuff' which is passed between tasks in the process. After creating a deliverable, you usually type a description of the deliverable's content into the 'Info/material' field in the properties dialog.

This text does not simply assign a name to the deliverable. Instead, an object representing the info/material is created and located in the 'Info/materials' tab on the left-hand side of the main CAM window. A "link" is then made between that info/material item and the deliverable which is shown on the diagram.

It is thus possible for an info/material item to be used multiple times at different points in a modelled process, by associating that same item with multiple deliverables. To do this, while editing the properties of an ellipse on a diagram, use the 'binoculars' button to select an existing info/material item rather than typing the name of a new item. Alternatively, type the (case-sensitive) name of the existing info/material item into the field and CAM will make the link automatically.

At each point an info/material item is used in a process, its state of development can be indicated by entering an appropriate text description in the 'qualifier' field. For instance,  'unvalidated' and 'validated' might be used as qualifiers for a certain design parameter.

Info/material items can also be used to configure the ASM simulation (for more info., see the ASM simulation documentation). In particular, one or more variables may be associated with each item (by right-clicking the info/material item where it appears, and selecting Properties). The values of these variables will be available for use in the simulation, and can be used to define the behaviour of any task that uses the info/material item as input or output.

It is possible to organise the info/material items into a hierarchy within the info/material tab on the left sidebar window. It is also possible to define the items to be local to a particular sub-process, rather than in the 'global' info/material tab where they can used in any deliverable anywhere in the workspace. This is mostly useful for fine-grained control of simulation models.

Finally,  by right-clicking an item in the info/material tree and selecting copy, then paste as shortcut onto a worksheet, you can create connections between the individual items to represent relationships between them.

In total, this functionality assists with modelling and simulating the progressive development and use of  information and other materials during a process.