Traditional models of physical systems consist of discrete (lumped) elements connected using circuit conventions. Such circuit models are of great use because they provide physical insight and suggest a formal analysis procedure. However, conventional circuit models of systems have serious deficiencies that limit their usefulness. Most notable of these deficiencies are the inability to directly model multiport cross‐domain energic elements and the neglect of causal relations. As will be shown in this article, bond graph models of physical systems, which are not beset by the same problems, offer an alternative to circuit models that provides enhanced physical insight and computational ease. The scope of application of bond graphs will be demonstrated by showing their use in modeling transducers, and their relation to statistical energy analysis.

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