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Design Charts with Simulink Functions

In this tutorial, you use a Simulink® function in a Stateflow® chart to improve the design of a model that contains a function-call subsystem. You can replace a function-call subsystem with a Simulink function in a chart when:

  • The subsystem performs calculations required by the chart.

  • Other blocks in the model do not need access to the subsystem outputs.

Simulink functions are not supported in standalone Stateflow charts in MATLAB®.


To skip the conversion steps, open the model sf_car:


Open the Model

Open the model old_sf_car. This model contains a function-call subsystem named Threshold Calculation and a Stateflow chart named shift_logic.

When you run this model, the chart broadcasts the output event CALC_TH to trigger the function-call subsystem. The subsystem interpolates two values for the shift_logic chart. The subsystem outputs (up_th and down_th) return to the chart as inputs.

After the simulation, the Scope blocks display these results.

Add a Simulink Function to the Chart

Follow these steps to add a Simulink function to the shift_logic chart.

  1. In the Simulink model, right-click the Threshold Calculation block in the lower left corner and select Cut from the context menu.

  2. Open the shift_logic chart.

  3. In the chart, right-click below selection_state and select Paste from the context menu.

  4. Expand the new Simulink function so that the signature fits inside the function box.


    To change the font size of a function, right-click the function box and select a new size from the Font Size menu.

  5. Expand the border of selection_state to include the new function.


    The function resides in this state instead of the chart level because no other state in the chart requires the function outputs up_th and down_th. See Bind a Simulink Function to a State.

  6. Rename the Simulink function from Threshold_Calculation to calc_threshold by entering [down_th, up_th] = calc_threshold(gear, throttle) in the function box.

Change the Scope of Chart Data

In the Model Explorer, change the scope of chart-level data up_th and down_th to Local because calculations for those data now occur inside the chart.

Update State Action in the Chart

In the Stateflow Editor, change the during action in selection_state to call the Simulink function calc_threshold.

during: [down_th, up_th] = calc_threshold(gear, throttle);

Add Data to the Chart

Because the function calc_threshold takes throttle as an input, you must define that data as a chart input. (For details, see Add Stateflow Data.)

  1. Add input data throttle to the chart with a Port property of 1.

    Using port 1 prevents signal lines from overlapping in the Simulink model.

  2. In the Simulink model, add a signal line for throttle to an input to the Engine block and to an input to the shift_logic chart.

Remove Unused Items in the Model

  1. In the Model Explorer, delete the function-call output event CALC_TH because the Threshold Calculation block no longer exists.

  2. Delete any dashed signal lines from your model.

Run the New Model

Your new model looks something like this:

If you simulate the new model, the results match those of the original design.

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