Model Definition

A model definition is the most generic type of definition in Modelica. Later in the book (and even in this chapter), we’ll be introducing other types of definitions (e.g., record definitions) that share the same syntax as a model definition, but include some restrictions on what the definition is allowed to contain.

Syntax of a Model Definition

As we saw throughout this chapter, a model definition starts with the model keyword and is followed by a model name (and optionally a model description). The name of the model must start with a letter and can be followed by any collection of letters, numbers or underscores (_).

Naming conventions

Although not strictly required by the language. It is a convention that model names start with an upper case letter. Most model developers use the so-called “camel case” convention where the first letter of each word in the model name is upper case.

The model definition can contain variables and equations (to be discussed shortly). The end of the model is indicated by the presence of the end keyword followed by a repetition of the model name. Any text appearing after the sequence // and until the end of the line or between the delimiters /* and */ is considered a comment.

In summary, a model definition has the following general form:

model SomeModelName "An optional description"
  // By convention, variables are listed at the start
  /* And equations are listed at the end */
end SomeModelName;


As we saw in the section on Avoiding Repetition, we can reuse code from other models by adding an extends clause to the model. It is worth noting that a model definition can include multiple extends clauses.

Each extends clause must include the name of the model being extended from and can be optionally followed by modifications that are applied to the contents of the model being extended from. In the case of a model definition that inherits from other model definitions, you can think of the general syntax as looking something like this:

 model SpecializedModelName "An optional description"
   extends Model1; // No modifications
   extends Model2(n=5); // Including modification
   // By convention, variables are listed at the start
   /* And equations are listed at the end */
end SpecializedModelName;

By convention, extends clauses are normally listed at the very top of the model definition, before any variables.

In later chapters, we will show how this same syntax can be used to define other entities besides models. But for now, we will focus primarily on models.