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Create and Store Links

You can use links and link sets to trace requirements to the design and test items that implement and verify them. Each link and link set has a corresponding API object. You can use the Requirements Editor, Requirements Perspective, a traceability matrix, or the MATLAB® command line to create links between requirements, MATLAB code, Simulink® blocks, Simulink Test™ test cases, and other items. You can also view and edit the links.

Link Objects, Sources, and Destinations

Each link has a corresponding slreq.Link object. You can provide additional traceability information by using link properties, custom attributes, and stereotypes. For more information, see:

Links point from source items to destination items, which are contained in source artifacts and destination artifacts, respectively. For example, consider a link that points from a Simulink block to a requirement. The Simulink model is the source artifact and the block is the source item. The requirement set is the destination artifact and it contains the requirement, which is the destination item.

A linked item has an outgoing link if it is the source of a link. Conversely, an item has an incoming link if it is the destination of a link. For example, if a link points from a Simulink block to a requirement, the Simulink block has an outgoing link and the requirement has an incoming link.

Link Storage

Link sets contain links. Each link set you load has a corresponding slreq.LinkSet object. When you create a link, Requirements Toolbox™ creates a link set and saves it as an SLMX file in the same folder as the source artifact. The link set name is the source artifact base name and the source artifact extension, separated by a tilde. For example, Requirements Toolbox stores outgoing links from a MATLAB function called myFunction.m in a link set file called myFunction~m.slmx.

Note

Link sets that contain links from Simulink models combine the model base name and ~mdl to prevent link resolution issues if the model file extension changes between .mdl and .slx. For example, Requirements Toolbox stores outgoing links from vdp.slx in a link set file called vdp~mdl.slmx.

Save Links

When you create links from artifacts such as Simulink models or Simulink Test files, you can save the changes to the link set by saving the artifact.

To save the changes to a link set when you create or edit links to lines of MATLAB code or plain-text external code, use one of these approaches:

  • In the MATLAB Editor, right-click and select Requirements > Save Links.

  • In the Requirements Editor, click Show Links. Select the link set, and click Save.

  • At the MATLAB command line, use save.

Linkable Items

You can create links between these requirements items, model entities, test artifacts, and code:

Create Links

You can use the Requirements Editor, Requirements Perspective, a traceablity matrix, or the MATLAB command line to create links.

To create a link from a design or test item to a requirement by using the Requirements Editor:

  1. Select one of these items:

    • Simulink or Stateflow model element

    • System Composer architecture element

    • Simulink Test test case

    • Code range in the MATLAB Editor

    • Simulink data dictionary entry

    Tip

    To link to MATLAB functions and enable change tracking for the entire body of the function, create the link to the line that contains the function keyword.

  2. In the Requirements Editor, select the requirement.

  3. Click Add Link, then select the menu option that contains the selection that you want to link to.

To create a requirement-to-requirement link:

  1. Select the requirement that you want to link as the source item.

  2. Click Add Link > Select for Linking with Requirement.

  3. Select the requirement that you want to link as the destination item.

  4. Create the link by selecting Add Link > Create a link from.

Tip

Create Links Programmatically

To create links at the MATLAB command line:

  1. Get the object or handle for the link source. For example:

    open_system("vdp")
    src = get_param("vdp/Mu","Handle");

  2. Get the object or handle for the link destination. For example:

    dest = slreq.find(Type="Requirement",Summary="My requirement");
  3. Use the slreq.createLink function to create the link.

    newLink = slreq.createLink(src,dest);

To create links to MATLAB code or plain-text external code programmatically, use slreq.TextRange objects. For more information, see Requirements Traceability for MATLAB Code.

Link Types

Each link has a type that describes the relationship between the source and destination items. The Type property value of the slreq.Link object describes the link type.

Assigned Link Types

Each link type has an intended use case. For example, the Implement link type indicates a relationship between a requirement and a design item that implements the requirement. When you create a link between two items, Requirements Toolbox sets the link type and designates the items as the source or destination depending on the type of artifact that they belong to. For example, if you create a link between a requirement and a Simulink model element, Requirements Toolbox assumes that the model element implements the requirement, sets the link type to Implement, and designates the model element as the source and the requirement as the destination.

If there is no assumed link type for a link created between two items, then Requirements Toolbox sets the link type to Relate. For example, requirement-to-requirement links and links from plain-text external code default to Relate.

Edit the Link Type

After you create the link, you can edit the link type in the Requirements Editor, the Requirements Perspective, or at the MATLAB command line. In the Requirements Editor, click Show Links. Select a link and, in the right pane, under Properties, select the desired link type from the Type list.

Built-in Link Types

Requirements Toolbox provides six built-in link types.

The forward direction indicates how the source relates to the destination. Similarly, the backward direction indicates how the destination relates to the source.

TypeDescriptionSource-to-Destination ExampleForward DirectionBackward Direction
Relate
  • General relationship between items for most use cases

  • Bi-directional link

Requirement to requirement

The first requirement is related to the second requirement.

The second requirement is related to the first requirement.

Implement
  • Specifies the source item that implements the requirement

  • Contributes to the implementation status

For more information, see Review Requirements Implementation Status.

Simulink model element to requirement

The Simulink model element implements the requirement.

The requirement is implemented by the Simulink model element.

Verify
  • Specifies which source item verifies the requirement

  • Contributes to the verification status if the source item is one of the accepted item types

For more information, see Review Requirements Verification Status.

Simulink test case to requirement

The Simulink test case verifies the requirement.

The requirement is verified by the Simulink test case.

Derive

Specifies which source item derives the destination item

Imported referenced requirement to requirement

The imported referenced requirement derives the requirement.

The requirement is derived from the imported referenced requirement.

Refine

Specifies which source item adds detail for the functionality specified by the destination item

Low-level requirement to high-level requirement

The low-level requirement refines the high-level requirement.

The high-level requirement is refined by the low-level requirement.

Confirm
  • Specifies a relationship between a requirement and an external test result source

  • Can contribute to the verification status in certain cases

For more information, see Include Results from External Sources in Verification Status.

Requirement to external test result

The requirement is confirmed by the external test result.

The external test result confirms the requirement.

The Implement and Verify link types describe requirement-to-model and requirement-to-test relationships. These links affect the implementation status and verification status. For more information, see Review Requirements Implementation Status and Review Requirements Verification Status.

The link type also affects the impact direction in the Traceability Diagram window. For more information, see Visualize Links with a Traceability Diagram.

Custom Link Types

In addition to the built-in types, you can define custom link types. Custom link types must use one of the built-in types as the base behavior. The custom link type inherits some functionality from the built-in type, including how the link type contributes to the implementation and verification statuses. For more information, see Choose a Built-in Type as a Base Behavior.

You can define custom link types by using stereotypes or by using sl_customization files. For more information, see Define Custom Requirement and Link Types and Properties.

View and Edit Links

To view the loaded link sets and the links they contain, in the Requirements Editor, click View Links. You can then select a link and view or edit its properties or custom attributes. For more information, see Set Link Properties, Custom Attributes, or Stereotype Properties.

You can also view the links for a particular requirement in the Requirements Editor when you select a requirement. In the right pane, under Links, the outgoing links icon Outgoing links icon. indicates outgoing links and the incoming links icon Incoming links icon. indicates incoming links.

To view links in the Simulink Editor by using the Requirements Perspective:

  1. Open the Requirements Perspective in a Simulink model by clicking the Show Perspectives views icon in the lower-right corner of the model canvas and select Requirements.

  2. In the Requirements tab, ensure that Layout > Requirements Browser is selected.

  3. In the Requirements pane, in the View menu, select Links.

To visualize links, create a traceability matrix or traceability diagram. For more information, see Track Requirement Links with a Traceability Matrix and Visualize Links with a Traceability Diagram.

Delete Links and Link Sets

To delete a link, in the Requirements Editor, click Show Links. Select a link and, in the Links section, click Delete links icon..

To delete a link set:

  1. Locate the SLMX file that contains the link set. By default, link set files are in the same folder as the source artifact.

  2. Close the linked artifacts before deleting a link set, including requirement sets, Simulink Test files, MATLAB code, Simulink data dictionaries, and Simulink, Stateflow or System Composer models.

  3. At the MATLAB command line, clear the loaded requirements and links by entering:

    slreq.clear

  4. Delete the SLMX file.

Note

If you want to delete a link set file associated with a Simulink model, ensure that the links are stored externally. For more information about how to store links externally, see Requirements Link Storage.

See Also

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