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Monday, December 10, 2007

Performance: An attribute or a behavior?

Is performance of a system an attribute or a behavior? I guess the answer to this question depends on the perspective you are considering. Lets take the example of a Nissan Quest Minivan as a system.

According to its data sheet it has a performance of 235 hp @ 5,800 rpm and a 240 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm. This data could be considered a system attribute at the time of design. These are the performance goals the design engineers are targeting in the product that rolls off the assembly line. One can argue that once the minivan hits the road and a driver presses on the gas pedal these numbers no longer become attributes but rather operational behaviors. As the system ages the numbers would change.