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Introduction:

List of Papers for 2014:
(in reverse chronological order)

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NewESD-WP-2014-11 Flexibility, Complexity, and Controllability in Large Scale Systems

Paper submitted for CESUN 2014 - Fourth International Engineering Systems Symposium to be held June 8-11, 2014 at Stevens Institute of Technology.

David A. Broniatowski
Assistant Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
The George Washington University
Washington, DC USA
Email: broniatowski@gwu.edu

Joel Moses
Institute Professor, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Professor of Engineering Systems
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: moses@mit.edu

System structure is a key determinant of system behavior. There is a particularly strong link between a system’s structure and its flexibility – it’s capacity to respond to changes. Often, adding flexibility entails adding complexity. In this paper, we propose measures for a system’s complexity that are complementary to existing flexibility measures. Furthermore, flexibility often comes at the cost of some measure of control over the system’s behavior. We therefore propose a metric for system controllability that is complementary to our flexibility metric.

ESD-WP-2014-10 Assessing Future Water Availability in Arid Regions Using Composition and Salience of Decision Criteria

Paper submitted for CESUN 2014 - Fourth International Engineering Systems Symposium to be held June 8-11, 2014 at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Afreen Siddiqi
Research Scientist
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Visiting Scholar
Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: siddiqi@mit.edu

Farah Ereiqat
Graduate Research Assistant
Graduate School of Design
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: fereiqat@gsd.harvard.edu

Laura Diaz Anadon
Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Harvard Kennedy School
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: laura_diaz_anadon@hks.harvard.edu

Water resources development options are usually selected on a least-cost basis. While economic considerations are dominant in choosing projects, there are also a mix of other factors including social demands, political expediency, social equity, and environmental considerations that impact final decisions and development of water supply systems. Understanding local priorities in water resource management decisions can allow for forming expectations of future regional water availability. In this research, we propose that future water availability in arid regions may be assessed by considering key projects that have been identified or planned by regional experts. Using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis methods as a framework to organize set of decision criteria and their relative salience, the likelihood of selection (and development) of a project can be determined and used to form expectations of future regional water availability. We use this approach in a case study for Jordan, and find that large-scale desalination projects—that have been in the planning books for decades—are now most likely to be pursued and implemented in the country. Finally, we discuss strengths, limitations, and the general applicability of this method for assessing future water availability in other arid regions.

ESD-WP-2014-09 The Role of Subproject Task-Specific Attributes in Managing Enterprise-Wide Projects

Paper submitted for CESUN 2014 - Fourth International Engineering Systems Symposium to be held June 8-11, 2014 at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Ori Orhof
Ph.D. Candidate
Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology
Email: ori@orhof.com

Aaron Shenhar
CEO
SPL Group, New York, NY, USA
Email: ashenhar@splwin.com

Dov Dori
Visiting Professor
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA
Professor
Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology
Email: dori@mit.edu

Realizing that different types of projects require different styles of management is becoming part of the mainstream theory and practice in project management. This paper addresses the question of whether the same notion is also applicable to the subproject level, and how. We suggest that a project’s building blocks exhibit unique characteristics with respect to two major dimensions: Challenge (or difficulty) and vitality (or importance). Specifically, we add to the critical path and critical chain project management concepts a critical component—a unit at the sub-project level that is exceptionally risky to a project’s success. We lay out the conceptual framework in which critical component is embedded and demonstrate the theoretical and managerial aspects of contingency at the subproject level by analyzing three case studies.

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ESD-WP-2014-08 Lesson Study and Lesson Sharing: An Appealing Marriage

Mackenzie Hird
Ph.D. Candidate
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: mac.hird@gmail.com

Richard C. Larson
Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
Email: rclarson@mit.edu

Yuko Okubo
Social Research Scientist
Open Education Solutions, Cloud-based Solution Innovation Group
Fujitsu Laboratories of America
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Email: yokubo@us.fujitsu.co

Kanji Uchino
Senior Researcher
Open Education Solutions
Fujitsu Laboratories of America
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Email: kanji@us.fujitsu.com

Lesson Study and lesson sharing are two educational initiatives that, if merged, have the potential to revolutionize how teachers plan and deliver lessons. Lesson Study is the joint production of lessons by a small team of teachers over the course of a few months. The resulting lesson plan is usually “on paper” and used only locally. Lesson sharing occurs on the Internet, providing contributing teachers with a mechanism for sharing their lessons with others. Typically a single teacher authors these shared lessons. We discuss the advantages and associated implementation barriers of each when viewed as separate activities, and then argue for their joint or merged implementation, describing how each would synergistically support the other. Not only would more vetted lessons be delivered to the Internet, but also the teacher teams participating in lesson creation would develop a much deeper understanding of pedagogy. We offer policy recommendations to support this new educational paradigm: A virtual marriage of Lesson Study and lesson sharing.

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ESD-WP-2014-07 Engineering Effective Response to Outbreaks of Influenza

Stan Finkelstein
Senior Research Scientist, Engineering Systems Division, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: snf@mit.edu

Richard C. Larson
Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA
Email: rclarson@mit.edu

Karima Nigmatulina
Acting Director at the Institute of Master Planning for the City of Moscow
Russian Federation
Email: knigmatulina@genplanmos.ru

Anna Teytelman
Senior Research Staff
Google Inc.
New York, NY USA
Email: teytanna@gmail.com

Objective. Allocation of vaccines and deployment of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) are critical to controlling influenza. We examine how these policies can minimize the societal impact.

Methods. An engineering systems framing and modeling approach incorporates theories and data on the spread of influenza. Models employed data from the CDC and state governments on cases and vaccine administered during the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, and published literature on how to reduce human-to-human contacts.

Results. During the outbreak, barely half of all states received proportional allotments of vaccine in time to protect any citizens, while fewer sought vaccine after the peak. While individuals prone to contract and spread infection drive the progression, diligent hygiene practices and social distancing measures can drive down the number of cases.

Conclusions. NPIs are highly effective in reducing the spread of influenza before, but also after vaccine is administered. Policies to allocate vaccine in direct proportion to population should be replaced and larger stocks sent to regions where greater numbers of persons stand to be protected.

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ESD-WP-2014-06 Rail Infrastructure Manager Problem: Analyzing Capacity Pricing and Allocation in Shared Railway System

Paper submitted for CESUN 2014 - Fourth International Engineering Systems Symposium to be held June 8-11, 2014 at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Maite Peña-Alcaraz
Ph.D. Candidate
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA
Email: maitepa@mit.edu

Mort D. Webster
Associate Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering
Energy and Mineral Engineering
Penn State
State College, PA, USA
Email: mdw18@psu.edu

Andrés Ramos
Professor
Institute for Research in Technology
Comillas Pontifical University
Madrid, Spain
Email: andres.ramos@iit.upcomillas.es

Joseph M. Sussman
JR East Professor
Professor of Civil and Environmental
Engineering and Engineering Systems
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: sussman@mit.edu 

This paper proposes a train timetabling model for shared railway systems. The model is formulated as a mixed integer linear programming problem and solved both using commercial software and a novel algorithm based on approximate dynamic programming. The results of the train timetabling model can be used to simulate and evaluate the behavior of the infrastructure manager in shared railway systems under different capacity pricing and allocation mechanisms. This would allow regulators and decision makers to identify the implications of these mechanisms for different stakeholders considering the specific characteristics of the system.

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ESD-WP-2014-05 Hiring College Graduates to Flip Hamburgers: An Endogenous Theory of Professionalization

Navid Ghaffarzadegan
Assistant Professor
Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA, USA
Email: navidg@vt.edu

Yi Xue
Masters Student
MIT Technology and Policy Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139 USA
Email: yixue@mit.edu

Richard C. Larson
Mitsui Professor of Engineering Systems
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA
Email: rclarson@mit.edu

In this paper, we offer an endogenous theory of professionalization and ever-higher degree attainment. We theorize that higher education is a self-driving growth engine. We introduce two endogenous mechanisms that act on the education enterprise, causing the number of educated people to increase dramatically with relatively short-term changes in the job market. Using an illustrative dynamic model based on simple rules of degree attainment and job selection, we argue that these self-driving growth engines are adequate to over-incentivize degree attainment, and can affect the match between supply and demand for college-educated labor. We also show that the mechanisms magnify effects of short-term recessions or technological changes, and create long-term waves of mismatch between workforce and jobs. The implication of the theory is degree inflation, magnified pressures on those with lower degrees, underemployment, and job market mismatch and inefficiency.

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ESD-WP-2014-04 A Joint Planning, Management and Operations Framework for Airport Infrastructure

Paper submitted for CESUN 2014 - Fourth International Engineering Systems Symposium to be held June 8-11, 2014 at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Alexandre Jacquillat
Ph.D. Candidate
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139
Email: alexjacq@mit.edu

Vivek Sakhrani
Ph.D. Candidate
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139
Email: sakhrani@mit.edu

Many airports around the world are actively considering development or expansion projects. Such projects can spur tremendous benefits but are investment-intensive and span several decades from conception to completion. We formulate the associated dynamic, complex decision-making problems using a broad systems frame. We propose a conceptual framework that links airport infrastructure investments and airport management and operations in a time-expanded, state-contingent problem. To develop this framework we consider the social and policy objectives for well functioning air transportation infrastructure, the decision levers available to stakeholders, the influence of the institutional field and regulatory context on these decisions, and the key performance measures that operationalize system ilities. Our framework integrates literature from investments under uncertainty, airport demand management, and airport operating procedures. Four case examples of airports in Delhi, Charlotte, London and New York illustrate decision-making in the context of our framework. We argue for a more integrated approach to decision-making while evaluating investments in greenfield airports or capacity expansions.

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ESD-WP-2014-03 Understanding Crude Oil Transport Strategies in North America

Paper submitted for the 49th Annual Canadian Transportation Research Forum Conference to be held June 1-4, 2014 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

S. Joel Carlson
M.S. in Transportation and Engineering
Systems Candidate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: scarlson@mit.edu

Joseph M. Sussman
JR East Professor
Professor of Civil and Environmental
Engineering and Engineering Systems
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: sussman@mit.edu

On July 6, 2013, an oil-laden unit train derailed and exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, killing 47 people, shocking many, and leading to significantly increased public scrutiny of crude oil by rail. Simultaneously, there has been intense scrutiny of several proposed pipelines from the oil sands of northern Alberta. Not only is there concern about the potential environmental impacts of the pipelines themselves, such as a potential spill of diluted bitumen (a form of crude oil to be shipped), but also about the consequences of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by the energy-intensiveness of bitumen production and refining. From the point of view of the railroads, until such impacts are considered through political and regulatory processes in Canada and the US, railroads deciding whether to invest in capacity to transport bitumen are presented with considerable uncertainty. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, this paper characterizes some of this uncertainty and discusses its short- and long-term implications for railroads and policy makers.

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ESD-WP-2014-02 Improving the Systems Engineering Process with Multilevel Analysis of Interactions

Steven D. Eppinger
Professor of Management and Engineering Systems
Sloan School of Management and Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: eppinger@mit.edu

Nitin R. Joglekar
Associate Professor of Operations and Technology Management
School of Management
Boston University
Email: joglekar@bu.edu

Alison Olechowski
Doctoral Student
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: alisono@mit.edu

Terence Teo
Masters Student
System Design and Management Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: tereteo@mit.edu

The systems engineering V (SE-V) is an established process model to guide the development of complex engineering projects (INCOSE, 2011). The SE-V process involves decomposition and integration of system elements through a sequence of tasks that produce both a system design and its testing specifications, followed by successive levels of build, integration, and test activities. This paper presents a method to improve SE-V implementation by mapping multilevel data into design structure matrix (DSM) models. DSM is a representation methodology for identifying interactions either between components or tasks associated with a complex engineering project (Eppinger & Browning, 2012). Multilevel refers to SE-V data on complex interactions that are germane either at multiple levels of analysis, e.g. component versus subsystem conducted either within a single phase or across multiple time phases, e.g. early or late in the SE-V process. This method extends conventional DSM representation schema by incorporating multilevel test coverage data as vectors into the off diagonal cells. These vectors provide a richer description of potential interactions between product architecture and SE-V integration test tasks than conventional domain mapping matrices (DMMs). We illustrate this method with data from a complex engineering project in the offshore oil industry. Data analysis identifies potential for unanticipated outcomes based on incomplete coverage of SE-V interactions during integration tests. Additionally, assessment of multilevel features using maximum and minimum function queries isolates all the interfaces that are associated with either early or late revelations of integration risks based on the planned suite of SE-V integration tests.

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ESD-WP-2014-01 Revisiting the Question: Are Systems of Systems just (traditional) Systems or are they a new class of Systems?

Paper submitted for CESUN 2014 - Fourth International Engineering Systems Symposium to be held June 8-11, 2014 at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Brian Mekdeci
Research Assistant
Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative (SEAri)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: mekdeci@gmail.com

Nirav Shah
Research Assistant
Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative (SEAri)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: nbshah@mit.edu

Adam M. Ross
Research Scientist
Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative (SEAri)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: adamross@mit.edu

Donna H. Rhodes
Research Scientist
Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative (SEAri)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: rhodes@mit.edu

Daniel Hastings
Professor
Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative (SEAri)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: hastings@mit.edu

This paper revisits a question asked and debated widely over the past decade: are Systems of Systems (SoS) just traditional systems or are they a new class of systems? Many have argued that SoS are a new class of systems, but little research has been available to provide evidence of this. In this paper we share highlights of recent research to show SoS not only have a different structure than systems and thus need to be engineered differently, but also may possess different attributes for beyond first use properties (the “illities”) such as flexibility and adaptability as compared to systems. By examining historical examples and by using a maritime security SoS as a research test bed, this paper shows that the “ility” called survivability had some design strategies that were directly mapped from systems and also allowed new strategies that only made sense for a SoS (e.g. vigilance). The paper also shows that some design strategies have a different implementation and meaning (e.g. margin) at the level of a system compared to SoS level. We conclude the answer to the question “Are SoS’s just systems?” is both yes and no. They are manifestly systems but possess properties not found in traditional systems. This is shown to true of the meta-property of survivability as applied against a directed SoS.

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