Int. J. of Information Technology and Management   »   2017 Vol.16, No.1



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Title: A feature-based approach to conceptualisation, upfront modelling, and planning for the future of complex systems


Author: Eliab Z. Opiyo


Address: Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE, Delft, The Netherlands


Abstract: This paper addresses the challenges of conceptualising, modelling, and planning for the future of complex systems with diverse physical, software, and/or cyber components during feasibility analysis. Specifically, the challenges dealt with included how to identify features; how to model the system, synergies, and operations upfront; and how to predict aspects such as the performance, assembly time, and cost in the fuzzy front-end stage of systems development processes. We present the techniques and scheme we developed and illustrate their applicability by using a practical example of complex medical rehabilitation device. We show that they provide a systematic way of identifying components and features. We discuss how features can be used as the basis for building functional, structural, or full-fledged system model upfront. These models show which functional and non-functional features the system would be comprised of, and can therefore also be used as the basis for investigating flows of information, energy, and/or materials, and for making predictions and planning for the future.


Keywords: complex systems; conceptualisation; modelling; prediction; feature identification; component identification; performance; assembly time; cost; fuzzy front-end; system development; medical rehabilitation devices; information flow; energy flows; materials flow.


DOI: 10.1504/IJITM.2017.10001055


Int. J. of Information Technology and Management, 2017 Vol.16, No.1, pp.91 - 112


Date of acceptance: 21 Apr 2016
Available online: 13 Nov 2016



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