Dynamic system perspective for design : ility-driving elements as responses to uncertainty
Author(s)Ricci, Nicola, S.M. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Adam M. Ross and Donna H. Rhodes.
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This thesis is concerned with the design of complex artificial systems. For such systems, there is a growing need to deliver value to stakeholders beyond the initial functional requirements and to cope with rapidly changing outer environments. This thesis presents a conceptual framework and a structured approach for thinking about and designing systems that can exhibit the emergence of desirable lifecycle properties (i.e., ilities). To set the ground for the research contributions, a literature overview on (1) complex sociotechnical systems, (2) uncertainty in such systems, and (3) ways to cope with such uncertainty is given. Furthermore, the larger research effort concerning a method for architecting Systems of Systems with ilities is discussed to frame the remainder of the thesis. The dynamic system perspective for design is discussed, as well as a formal way of modeling the space of possibilities for designers of complex systems (i.e., what the system can be, as well as what its outer environment and expectations can be). In this perspective, uncertainty is modeled as perturbations, which are operators on these spaces of possibilities. Similarly, ility-driving elements (IDEs) are introduced and modeled as operators on such spaces as well. Two main types of ility-driving elements are discussed and formally defined: change options and resistance properties. The former, akin to real options in business, enable the system to change over time so as to cope with perturbations and sustain (or enhance) value delivery. The latter, on the other hand, impede undesired changes in system value delivery. Lastly, IDE Analysis - a structured approach for generating, evaluating and selecting ility-driving elements - is introduced, and demonstrated on a running case application to a Maritime Security System of Systems. This approach requires an initial baseline design concept, and considers a set of relevant perturbations as a starting point. The thesis ends with general discussions around applicability of research and possible areas for future research, as well as conclusions regarding key contributions.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2014.Thesis: S.M. in Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2014.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 209-218).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics., Engineering Systems Division.