International Journal of System of Systems Engineering (4 papers in press)
Investigation of design and coordination issues in outpatient chemotherapy clinics using an ontology-based conceptual model
by Mahmoud Heshmat
Abstract: Chemotherapy is one of the most common treatment options for cancer. However, the caring service design is complex. In this paper, we develop an ontological model to check the consistency in the design process for identifying potential conflicts and improving communication and coordination in Outpatient Chemotherapy Clinics (OCCs). Checking the design issues is based on the notion that ontology could be used to conceptualise and represent the coordination and communication barriers in the current design. The paper describes how potential inconsistency might be detected through a conceptual model to account for the context of OCCs using the enterprise engineering approach DEMO (Design and Engineering Methodology for Organisations), and re-engineering or modification of the inconsistencies can be accomplished. The implications of the developed model revealed guidelines for modelling an ontological representation and automatically identifying problems and conflicts in the design process of the corresponding system. The main contribution of this work is exploring and proposing a solution for the explored coordination and communication issues between actor roles, in particular between the patient appointments scheduling stage and the treatment planning stage. This observed hindrance reflects two decision makers with opposing objectives for the same patient, namely the oncologist and the appointment scheduler in the actual system. Our improving suggestion is to provide an information link between the treatment planner and the patient appointment scheduling transaction by which the two actors supply each other with information converging to one statement. This result could be input to a prospective coordination and communication platform.
Keywords: Enterprise Ontology; Outpatient Chemotherapy Clinics; DEMO.
A Decision Making Support System for Identification, Management and Assessment of Territorial Vulnerability
by Roger Enrique Guzmán Avendaño, Holman Bolívar, Raul Menendez, Edwin Duran
Abstract: This paper presents the model used to support a decision making tool for guiding
interventions in a territory. After conducting a systematic review to identify multi-criterion decision models relevant to the case on hand, a system based on service-oriented architecture was implemented The developed application allowed to obtain the short-, medium- and longterm actions necessary to strengthen a region before a natural disaster. As input to the tool, we used the information that characterizes a territory, starting from indicators grouped by dimensions (environmental, urban-regional, political-institutional, economic-productive and sociocultural). The information processing generates an overall vulnerability index and, for each dimension, the system recommends the actions to take. Even though the decision making models based on multi-criteria analysis produced different results, their combination with a services oriented architecture was seen as the best strategy for developing the decision making support system.
Keywords: Information System; Multicriteria Decision; Systems for Decision Making,
Modeling and Simulation of System-of-Systems (SoS) using P-systems theory
by Shreyas Subramanian
Abstract: This paper connects two independent fields of research - System-of-Systems (SoS) and P-systems. P-systems, originally inspired by basic features of biological membranes, where objects are placed into compartments defined by a membrane structure, and evolve according to reaction rules. Systems that belong to a particular level in the hierarchy of a SoS are can be understood to be within a membrane of certain depth. Also, objects in P-systems evolve in a maximally parallel, non-deterministic manner, a preferred method of evolution for many intractable SoS problems. Transitions of individual systems to other systems, or to alternative configurations can be easily realized using the format of P-systems. By casting typical SoS problems into P-system representations, we demonstrate the ease of problem set up, and the possibility of solving commonly intractable SoS modeling and simulation problems in feasible time. An example problem involving communication between aircraft is studied to illustrate the applicability of P-systems theory to SoS.
Keywords: Modeling; System-of-Systems (SoS); P-Systems; membrane computing; evolving.
Special Issue on: Critical Success Factors for Public Transportation
Wheel Maintenance in Rolling Stock: Safety Challenges in the Defect Detection Process
by Maria Mikela Chatzimichailidou, Alberto Martinetti, Arnab Majumdar, Leo A.M. Van Dongen, WASHINGTON Y. OCHIENG
Abstract: The proper and timely maintenance of railway rolling stock is essential for the safety of railway operations. Inaccurate inspection can lead to inadequate repair of defects and to great safety challenges in respect to the entire railway system. The detection and repair of any defect, such as cracks, in the wheels prior to a failure can significantly reduce train derailments and improved operational performance. This paper examines the wheel maintenance process in maintenance depots in the Netherlands on the basis of literature review, observations and interviews. First, it highlights various detection methods, including the risks of the incorrect detection of a flawed wheel profile. This paper introduces a flowchart as a concise illustration of the maintenance process; that is, both the detection and treatment of defects. With this in hand, the authors, as well as anyone involved in maintenance, are able to identify the points where the process is vulnerable and may be prone to incidents/accidents. Based on this procedure, improvements to the current wheel maintenance process can be proposed. The method that the flowchart is based on is also presented herein, along with the findings obtained throughout its steps.
Keywords: Maintenance; Safety; Wheel Defect; Rolling Stock.