Approaching Blocks

What are the Six Building Blocks?

Distant signals are often referred to as Approach Signals as the signal block before the interlocking is known as the approach block. When a train enters the approach block any route lined up at the interlocking will become locked in place until a timer is run to prevent routing a conflicting movement without giving the approaching train. Approaching Blocks Play and study foreign words! Try dodge from blocks. When you loss, showing words in a foreign language.

The Six Building Blocks program was developed by the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine and Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute. It provides an evidence-based quality improvement roadmap to help primary care teams implement effective, guideline-driven care for their chronic pain and long-term opioid therapy patients.

Who are the Six Building Blocks for?

The Six Building Blocks can help anyone who is interested in improving the care of patients using long-term opioid therapy, such as:


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  • practice coaches
  • quality improvement personnel
  • clinicians and staff
  • clinic administrators
Approaching BlocksWhat will you find on this website?

This website introduces the Six Building Blocks, provides tools and resources for improving care, and offers implementation guidance. Click “start here” to begin by learning more about the Six Building Blocks.

Programmatic Modeling Basics

You can perform most Simulink® modeling basics programmatically at the MATLAB® Command Window, such as creating models, adding blocks to models, and setting parameters. These examples show some of these commands and how you can use them.

Load a Model

Loading a model brings it into memory but does not open it inthe Simulink Editor for editing. After you load a model, youcan work with it programmatically. You can use the Simulink Editorto edit the model only if you open the model.

To load a system, use the load_system command.For example, to load the vdp model, at the MATLAB commandprompt, enter:

Create a Model and Specify Parameter Settings

You can write a function that creates a model and uses the settingsthat you prefer. For example, this function creates a model that hasa green background and uses the ode3 solver:

Programmatically Load Variables When Opening a Model

If you assign a variable as a block parameter value, you must define the value of the variable in the model. See Create a Model. You can define the variable programmatically using the PreloadFcn callback with the set_param function. Use the function in this form:

expression is a MATLAB command or a MATLAB scripton your MATLAB search path. This command sets the model PreloadFcn callbackto the value that you specify. Save the model to save the setting.

For example, when you define the variables in a MATLAB script loadvar.m forthe model modelname.slx, use this command:

Toassign the variable K the value 15,use this command:Alone

After you save the model, the PreloadFcn callbackexecutes when you next open the model.

Programmatically Add and Connect Blocks

This example shows how to use functionsto add blocks and connect the blocks programmatically. Once you haveadded blocks to the model, you use three different approaches to connectthem: routed lines, port handles, and port IDs. Routed lines allowyou to specify the exact (x,y) coordinates of all connecting linesegment endpoints. Port handles and port IDs allow connecting linesto block ports without having to know the port location coordinates.

Createand open a blank model named ‘mymodel’.

Addblocks, including a subsystem block. Use the position arrayin the set_param function to set the size and positionof the blocks. Set the upper left and lower right block corners using(x,y) coordinates.

Inside Subsystem1, deletethe default connection between In1 and Out1.Also, add a second input port by copying and renaming In1 fromthe block library.

Repositionthe internal input and output port blocks inside Subsystem1.

Insert and position an Add blockinside Subsystem1.

Next, add lines to connect all the blocks inthe model. Start by connecting the Sine1 and Pulse1 blocksusing routed lines.

Find the (x,y) coordinates of the Sine1 outputport.

Sine1_Port = get_param('mymodel/Sine1','PortConnectivity')

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get_param shows that theport Position is [185 100].

Find the (x,y) coordinatesof the Pulse1 output port.

Pulse1_Port= get_param('mymodel/Pulse1','PortConnectivity')

get_param showsthat the port position is [185 220].

Connect the outputof Sine1 to the first input of Subsystem1 usingthree segments of routed line.

Connect the output of Pulse1 tothe second input of Subsystem1 using three segmentsof routed line.

Use get_param to get theport handles of the blocks being connected. Then use the block porthandles to connect the output of Subsystem1 tothe input of Scope1.

Useport names and IDs to connect the Add1 block inside Subsystem1 tothe subsystem inputs and outputs. Simulink uses the most directpath to connect the ports.

Name a Signal Programmatically

  1. Select the block that is the source for the signalline.

  2. Use get_param to assign the porthandle of the currently selected block to the variable p.Use get_param to assign the name of the signalline from that port to the variable l. Then setthe name of the signal line to 's9'.

Arrange Model Layouts Automatically

You can use the Simulink.BlockDiagram.arrangeSystem command to lay out your model. This command aligns input blocks on the left, output blocks on the right, and model elements in columns between the inputs and outputs. The command affects only one layer at a time.

You can use the Simulink.BlockDiagram.routeLine command to route existing lines of your model. Routing existing lines improves line route quality and avoids overlaps of a line with other lines and obstacles in the model.

While you can use these commands with any open model, they are particularly useful with models you build programmatically. For an example, see Arrange Programmatically Populated Model.

Open the Same Model in Multiple Windows

When you open a model, the model appears in a Simulink Editorwindow. For example, if you have one model open and then you opena second model, the second model appears in a second window.

To open the same model in two Simulink Editor windows,at the MATLAB command prompt, enter the open_system commandand use the window argument. For example, if youhave the vdp model open, to open another instanceof the vdp model, enter:

Locate Diagram Elements Using Highlighting

To highlight a block, line, port, or annotation in an open model, use hilite_system.

Specify Colors Programmatically

You can use the set_param command at the MATLAB commandline or in a MATLAB program to set parameters that determinethe background color of a diagram and the background color and foregroundcolor of diagram elements. The following table summarizes the parametersthat control block diagram colors.



Block diagram background


Block and annotation background


Block and annotation foreground

Set the color parameter to either a named color or an RGB value.

  • Named color: 'automatic', 'black', 'white', 'red', 'green', 'blue', 'cyan', 'magenta', 'yellow', 'gray', 'lightBlue', 'orange', 'darkGreen'

  • RGB value: '[r,g,b]'

    where r, g, and b are the red, green, and blue components of the color normalized to the range 0.0 to 1.0.

For example, the following command sets the background colorof the currently selected system or subsystem to a light green color:

See Also

add_block | add_line | delete_block | delete_line | gcb | get_param | hilite_system | load_system | new_system | open_system | save_system | set_param | Simulink.BlockDiagram.routeLine

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