Thesis subject

Dimension analysis / Unit checker (MSc)

Building a tool for analysing consistent use of scientific units in simulation models

Short description

In building simulation models, it is important to use scientific units consistently. There are numerous stories about errors by confusing units, e.g. meters and feet or grams and milligrams. Many existing systems for unit checking are limited a fixed set of base units (essentially the seven base units of SI). Purely physically, it is no restriction to have only the seven SI dimensions for a base. In practical models, however, users need specialized units that are not easily expressible as combinations of standard units. Moreover, it is not necessary to convert such specialized units to standard units, unless they have to be compared to units already expressed in a standard system.

In the past, some thesis students have investigated the theory of dimensional analysis and designed algorithm prototypes for unit checking. For real use, a more robust and user friendly implementation is required. It is likely that during design and implementation additional theoretical issues will turn up. So this topic is very suitable for a masters thesis project.


    1. Define theoretical framework for unit checking in a generic setting
    2. Provide a tool for unit checking more general units than SI


    The work in this thesis entails:

    • Finding new literature on unit checking, if any
    • Defining the logic of generic unit checking
    • Designing and implementing a tool for unit checking
    • Evaluating and reporting on the results obtained



    • Courses: Software Engineering (INF32306)
    • Required skills/knowledge: some experience in simulation models of physical or agronomic processes

    Key words: Unit Checking, Dimension Analysis, Static Analysis, Software Engineering

    Contact person(s)
    Mark Kramer (