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DSM (Dependency Structure Matrix, or Design Structure Matrix) is a modelling approach for capturing the dependencies between elements in a system. By presenting elements in the DSM in different sequences, it is possible to highlight (or identify) certain characteristics of the dependency structure.

 The DSM toolbox in CAM provides a simple interface for creating DSMs. DSM functionality is also available as a view, for analysing the data created using other toolboxes.

  • To create a model using the DSM toolbox: On the workspace screen (which appears when CAM is first started) click 'new workbook' on the bottom-right of the screen. In the pop-up, select 'DSM'for the 'Type' option. The new workbook will appear as a thumbnail; to access the DSM functionality, click the thumbnail.
  • To use the DSM functionality: see the DSM view documentation.

For more information continue reading below.

Other ways of viewing information created in the DSM toolbox

The Force-directed layout view provides an alternative visualisation of dependency data created in a DSM toolbox. It is also possible to create a Diagram view and lay out elements and connections manually, or use one of the auto-layout algorithms.

For more information see the documentation on using multiple views

Use cases for the DSM toolbox

The following pages use real examples, with download-able data, to explain how the DSM toolbox can be used to discover structural charateristics of:

  1. The interfaces between components and subsystems in a product
  2. The network of communication between people in an organisation

More information

  • A lot of information on DSM approaches, including tutorials, is available from www.dsmweb.org