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Introduction:

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

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NewESD-WP-2014-26 Striving for Safety: Communicating and Deciding in Sociotechnical Systems

John M. Flach*
(corresponding author)
Professor and Chair
Department of Psychology
Wright State University
Email: john.flach@wright.edu

John S. Carroll
Gordon Kaufman Professor of Management
Sloan School of Management
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Email: jcarroll@mit.edu

Marvin J. Dainoff
Director, Center for Behavioral Sciences
Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety
Email: marvin.dainoff@libertymutual.com

W. Ian Hamilton
Partner
Human Factors Team – Global Head
ERM, Ltd.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Email: ian.hamilton@erm.com

How do communications and decisions impact the safety of sociotechnical systems? This paper frames this question in the context of a dynamic system of nested sub-systems. Communications are related to the construct of observability (i.e., how components integrate information to assess the state with respect to local and global constraints). Decisions are related to the construct of controllability (i.e., how component sub-systems act to meet local and global safety goals). The safety dynamics of sociotechnical systems are evaluated as a function of the coupling between observability and controllability across multiple closed-loop components. Two very different domains (nuclear power and the limited service food industry) provide examples to illustrate how this framework might be applied. While the dynamical systems framework does not offer simple prescriptions for achieving safety, it does provide guides for exploring specific systems to consider the potential fit between organisational structures and work demands, and for generalizing across different systems regarding how safety can be managed.

ESD-WP-2014-25 Analyzing the Financial Relationship between Railway Industry Players in Shared Railway Systems: The Train Operator’s Perspective

Paper submitted to the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 94th Annual Meeting to be held January 11-15, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Sam Levy
M.S. in Transportation Candidate
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: samlevy@mit.edu

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

Aleksandr Prodan
Ph.D. Candidate
Researcher in Railways
Instituto Superior Técnico
Universidade de Lisboa
Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001
Lisbon, Portugal
Email: aleksandr.prodan@ist.utl.pt

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

Capacity pricing and allocation play an important role in efficient management of railway corridors, especially shared ones. This paper analyzes how Train Operators (TOs) would respond to different track-access charges, as a first step to understand the relationship between Train Operators and Infrastructure Manger (IM) in railway systems with some level of vertical separation. By modeling a corridor whose users are long-distance high-speed trains and freight trains along the entire corridor, and commuter trains offering services around large urban areas in the corridor, this paper narrows down the focus on each individual operator, looking at the factors that drive each operator's ultimate service levels. Assuming an environment where the TOs are competing for capacity, financial goals and boundary conditions of each TO are derived, and a number of sensitivity analyses for various typical and extreme conditions are performed. This model allows to anticipate how TOs would respond to track-access charges, and can thus help the government, the regulators, and the IMs in the design of appropriate capacity pricing and allocation schemes.

ESD-WP-2014-24 HSR as Transit: The continuing transportation-driven evolution of metropolitan form

Ryan J. Westrom
(corresponding author)
2014 Graduate
Master of Science in Transportation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139
Email: westrom@mit.edu

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

With high-speed rail (HSR) now often fulfilling a commuting function within an hour’s travel time from principal metropolitan cities, it becomes the latest in a long line of transportation technologies to elicit change in the metropolitan form of these cities. This paper explores this history, and then the potential for this shifting form in the era of HSR. Viewing HSR as transit, its ramifications on metropolitan form are reviewed. Via a closer look at four case cities home to potential future HSR systems—Coimbra and Leiria in Portugal and Champaign-Urbana and Kankakee in Illinois within the U.S.A.—that will move within a principal city’s commuting reach—Lisbon and Chicago, respectively-implications for transportation and land use planning are discussed. The unique discontinuous nature of these new potential forms presents fresh opportunities to implement planning best practices, providing sustainability and quality of life returns. These speak well to the potential for HSR to serve this new function, and provide support for the consideration of HSR as a transportation alternative for these settings.

ESD-WP-2014-23 Technology Structural Implications from the Extension of a Patent Search Method

Christopher L. Benson
Postdoctoral Associate
SUTD/MIT International Design Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: cbenson@mit.edu

Christopher L. Magee
Professor of the Practice
Engineering Systems Division and Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Co-Director
SUTD/MIT International Design Center
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: cmagee@mit.edu

Many areas of academic and industrial work make use of the notion of a ‘technology’. This paper attempts to reduce the ambiguity around the definition of what constitutes a ‘technology’ by extension of a method described previously that finds highly relevant patent sets for specified technological fields. The method relies on a less ambiguous definition that includes both a functional component and a component consisting of the underlying knowledge in a technological field to form a two-component definition. These two components form a useful definition of a technology that allows for objective, repeatable and thus comparable analysis of specific technologies. 28 technological domains are investigated: the extension of an earlier technique is shown to be capable of finding highly relevant and complete patent sets for each of the technologies. Overall, about 500,000 patents from 1976 to 2012 are classified into these 28 domains. The patents in each of these sets are not only highly relevant to the domain of interest but there are relatively low numbers of patents classified into any two of these domains (total patents classified in 2 domains are 2.9% of the total patents and the great majority of patent class pairs have zero overlap with a few of the 378 patent class pairs containing the bulk of the doubly listed patents). On the other hand, the patents within a given domain cite patents in other domains about 90% of the time. These results suggest that technology can be usefully decomposed to distinct units but that the inventions in these relatively tightly contained units depend upon widely spread additional knowledge.

ESD-WP-2014-22 Quantitative empirical trends in technical performance

Christopher L. Magee
(corresponding author)
Professor of the Practice
Engineering Systems Division and Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Co-Director
SUTD/MIT International Design Center
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: cmagee@mit.edu

Subarna Basnet
Graduate Student
Mechanical Engineering Department
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: sbasnet@mit.ede

Jeffrey L. Funk
Associate Professor
School of Engineering
National University of Singapore
Email: etmfjl@nus.edu.sg

Christopher L. Benson
Postdoctoral Associate
SUTD/MIT International Design Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: cbenson@mit.edu

Technological improvement trends such as Moore’s law and experience curves have been widely used to understand how technologies change over time and to forecast the future through extrapolation. Such studies can also potentially provide a deeper understanding of R&D management and strategic issues associated with technical change. However, this requires that methodological approaches for these analyses be addressed and compared to more effectively interpret results. Our analysis of methodological issues recommends less ambiguous approaches to: 1) the unit of analysis; 2) choice of the metrics within a unit of analysis; 3) the relationships among possible independent variables; and 4) qualitative and quantitative data quality considerations.
The paper then uses this methodology to analyze performance trends for 28 technological domains with the following findings:

  1. Sahal’s relationship is tested for several effort variables  (for patents and revenue in addition to cumulative production where it was first developed). 
  2. The relationship is quite accurate when all three relationships, ( a. an exponential between performance and time, b. an exponential of effort and time and c. a power law between performance and the effort variable) have good data fits (r2 >0.7) .
  3. The power law and effort exponents determined are dependent upon the choice of effort variable but the time dependence exponential is not.
  4. In domains where the quantity of patents do not increase exponentially with time, Sahal’s relationship gives poor estimates even though Moore’s law is followed even for these domains.
  5. Good data quality for any of the relationships depends upon adequate screening involving not only r2 but also the confidence interval based upon two different statistical tests; by these measures, all 28 domains have high quality fits between the log of performance and time whereas less than ½ show this level of quality for power law fits with patents as the effort variable.

Overall, the results are interpreted as indicating that Moore’s law is a better description of longer-term technological change when the performance data come from various designs whereas experience curves may be more relevant when a singular design in a given factory is considered.

ESD-WP-2014-21 An Extension of Dematerialization Theory: Incorporation of Technical Performance Increases and the Rebound Effect

Christopher L. Magee
Professor of the Practice
Engineering Systems Division and Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Co-Director
SUTD/MIT International Design Center
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: cmagee@mit.edu

Tessaleno C. Devezas
Associate Professor
Faculty of Engineering
University of Beira Interior
Portugal
Email: tessalen@ubi.pt

Dematerialization is the reduction in the quantity of materials needed to produce something useful over time. Dematerialization fundamentally derives from ongoing increases in technical performance but it can be counteracted by demand rebound -increases in usage because of increased value (or decreased cost) that also results from increasing technical performance. A major question then is to what extent technological performance improvement can offset and is offsetting continuously increasing economic consumption. This paper contributes to answering this question by offering some simple quantitative extensions to the theory of dematerialization. An inequality criterion for dematerialization is developed that includes technical performance changes over time and demand rebound effects: the inequality highlights the importance of demand elasticity and the annual technical performance improvement rate. The paper then empirically examines the materials consumption trends as well as cost trends for a large set of materials and a few modern artifacts over the past decades. In all 57 cases examined, the particular combinations of demand elasticity and technical capability rate improvement for each case are consistent with continuation of materialization. Overall, the theory extension and empirical examination indicate that dematerialization and sustainability are significant challenges not easily met by undirected technological change.

ESD-WP-2014-20 Endogenous Control of Service Rates in Stochastic and Dynamic Queuing Models of Airport Congestion

Alexandre Jacquillat
(corresponding author)
Ph.D. Candidate
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: alexjacq@mit.edu

Amedeo R. Odoni
Professor
Aeronautics & Astronautics and Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: arodoni@mit.edu

Airport congestion mitigation requires reliable delay estimates. This paper presents an integrated model of airport congestion that combines a tactical model of capacity utilization into a strategic queuing model. The model quantifies the relationships between flight schedules, airport capacity and flight delays, while accounting for the way arrival and departure service rates can be controlled over the day to maximize operating efficiency. We show that the model estimates well the average and variability of the delays observed at New York’s airports. Results suggest that delays can be extremely sensitive to even small changes in flight schedules or airport capacity.

ESD-WP-2014-19 Capacity pricing schemes to implement open-access rail in Tanzania

Maite Peña-Alcaraz
(corresponding author)
PhD Candidate
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: maitepa@mit.edu

Ignacio Pérez-Arriaga
Visiting Professor
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Professor & Director of the BP Chair on Energy & Sustainability
Instituto de Investigacion Tecnologica (IIT)
Universidad Pontificia Comillas

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

We analyze alternative capacity pricing schemes (access charges) to implement an open-access railway system in Tanzania. We show that the implementation of variable access charges widely used in the railway industry may result in levels of traffic lower than the traffic operated by an integrated railway company. We propose the use of fixed access charges to avoid this problem and discuss the main advantages and disadvantages to implement them in the context of multiple freight train services in Tanzania.

ESD-WP-2014-18 Optimizing Long-Term Service Agreements for gas-fired units in the context of increasing penetration of intermittent generation

Tommy Leung
PhD Candidate
Engineering Systems Division and Energy Initiative
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: tcleung@mit.edu

Miguel Sánchez-González
Research Assistant
Institute for Research in Technology, ICAI School of Engineering
Comillas Pontifical University
Madrid, Spain
Email: sanchezglezmiguel@gmail.com

Pablo Rodilla
Research Scientist
Institute for Research in Technology, ICAI School of Engineering
Comillas Pontifical University
Madrid, Spain
Email: Pablo.Rodilla@iit.upcomillas.es

Carlos Batlle
Associate Professor
Institute for Research in Technology, ICAI School of Engineering
Comillas Pontifical University
Madrid, Spain;
Visiting Scholar
Energy Initiative
Massachusetts Institute of Technology;
Electricity Advisor
Florence School of Regulation
Email: CBatlle@mit.edu

As power systems increasingly rely on gas-fired power plants (GFPP), and as thermal cycling requirements increase due to larger penetrations of intermittent generation, the long-term service agreements (LTSAs) that define the conditions and costs for GFPP maintenance are exerting more economic influence over a power system’s short-term operations.

In a previous paper, the authors proposed a unit commitment formulation that explicitly represents LTSAs and showed that these operations and maintenance (O&M) contracts substantially impact the cost of economic dispatch when GFPPs are forced to intensively cycle. The authors also showed that properly modeling these contracts can substantially alter a power system’s short term optimal scheduling.

Traditional LTSAs were designed assuming that (especially) combined cycle gas turbines would operate in a base-loaded regime. In new operating regimes characterized by heavy cycling, GFPPs with traditional LTSAs can incur excessive cycling costs. It may be possible for owners of these GFPPs to renegotiate their existing LTSAs for more flexible conditions that will allow their GFPPs to cycle at lower costs, even if this renegotiation requires the owner to pay an upfront expense.

In this paper, we propose a formulation aimed at supporting the process of optimizing LTSAs contracts for a portfolio of GFPPs.

ESD-WP-2014-17 ESD Summer Reading Lists 2003–2014

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

June 11, 2014

ESD Summer Reading Lists

Back in 2003, when ESD was a toddler of about 4 1⁄2, we were preparing for our spring semester offsite traditionally held at the end of the academic year in late May or early June. I had the idea of preparing a short list of books with relevance to the ESD mission-the study of complex sociotechnical systems-and presented that idea to the then (and founding) ESD director Prof. Daniel Roos. He agreed it would be worthwhile as an experiment, and so I did create the first ESD Summer Faculty Reading List. A “summer” reading list carries the suggestion of books you can take to “the beach”. So no “text books” were included. The books were treatments of critical contemporary issues that the world faces, important methods and perspectives germane to these issues and the complex sociotechnical systems in general, and relevant history. In retrospect, the beach would likely be too distracting a venue for many of these books!

I got some “attaboys” on the 2003 list. A number of my colleagues said it was nice to take a look at my ideas about what books might be interesting reading. So with that positive feedback, I began to do this ESD Faculty Summer Reading List each year. When I did it the second year, I noted that this had now become a “tradition” and with an organization as young as ESD, we needed all the traditions we could get.

You can see where it has gone from here. The tradition has continued to the present day, with now twelve years of history for this reading list. In the early days, the commentary on the books was largely my own. As years wore on we would include materials that others-the publisher or book reviewers-had prepared with some supplementary comments from me. And in later years my comments became less and less prevalent and even non-existent.

Another thing we did regularly was to include books that had been published during that current academic year by ESD faculty/teaching staff, so this served as a mechanism for highlighting the scholarly work of my ESD colleagues and in 2013, two books published by MIT Press and Penguin Press book were included.
In any case, we have these reading lists encompassing books over this twelve-year period and thought it would be helpful to publish it as an ESD working paper to give our colleagues at MIT and outside the Institute access in one document to this eclectic potpourri of books. You may even find something you want to read that you missed the first time around.

We hope the reader finds this compendium to be useful and we look forward to any feedback that you may have including suggestions for 2015 and forward.

Joseph M. Sussman
JR East Professor
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems
MIT

ESD-WP-2014-16 A type-independent approach to supply-chain strategy evaluation

Roberto Perez-Franco
(corresponding author)
Research Associate
Center for Transportation and Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: roberto@mit.edu

Chris Caplice
Executive Director
Center for Transportation and Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: caplice@mit.edu 

Mahender Singh
Rector
Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation
Email: msingh@misi.edu.my

Yossi Sheffi
Director
Center for Transportation and Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: sheffi@mit.edu

Extant literature lacks established frameworks or methods that can be used to evaluate a supply chain strategy. In this paper we present a type-independent approach to evaluate a business unit's supply chain strategy as a conceptual system. Using as its starting point a conceptualization of the supply chain strategy known as a functional strategy map, the approach calls for an evaluation of the supply chain strategy along several general evaluation criteria: feasibility, support, coverage, compatibility, sufficiency, synergy, and parsimony. For some of these evaluation criteria, we have proposed an evaluation method. Both the proposed criteria and methods were tested and refined through two action research projects. The ability of the approach to identify conflicts in the supply chain strategy provides evidence in support of its evaluative power. As more replications are conducted, our understanding of the capabilities and limitations of both the criteria and the method are bound to improve. At this point, nevertheless, the method and criteria have shown enough promise to warrant further exploration and refinement, and represent a novel contribution to the literature.

ESD-WP-2014-15 Expressing a supply-chain strategy as a conceptual system

Roberto Perez-Franco
(corresponding author)
Research Associate
Center for Transportation and Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: roberto@mit.edu

Chris Caplice
Executive Director
Center for Transportation and Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: caplice@mit.edu 

Mahender Singh
Rector
Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation
Email: msingh@misi.edu.my

Yossi Sheffi
Director
Center for Transportation and Logistics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: sheffi@mit.edu

Although many events may motivate a firm to rethink its supply chain strategy, rethinking a supply chain strategy is not a trivial problem and it has no clear answer in the extant supply chain management literature. The purpose of this paper is to present a framework to describe the supply chain strategy of a business unit, and to propose a method that can be used to express this strategy in the form of grounded actionable conceptual map. This framework was developed through an inductive theory generation approach, through collaborative management research projects and validated in projects by third parties. A method is proposed to describe a supply chain strategy as a logical bridge between a firm's business strategy and its supply chain operations, composed by a series of layers on a continuum between the strategic to the operational. The framework and method can be easily followed by practitioners and academics to express the supply chain strategy of a business unit, and are based entirely on original research.

ESD-WP-2014-14 Concepts and Mechanics of Evaluating Infrastructure Public-Private Partnerships: A discussion of key practical issues, illustrated through a case example

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

Richard de Neufville
Professor of Engineering Systems and of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: ardent@mit.edu

This text presents and illustrates crucially important concepts about how to perform a proper economic evaluation of an infrastructure public-private partnership (PPP) and appreciate the contractual value implications for the partners. The discussion speaks to managers, policy-makers, and all those concerned with the development of infrastructure projects. The discussion pays special attention to the economic issues associated with contracts between public and private sector partners for infrastructure projects. Contracts can be powerful instruments in shaping both overall project value, and the benefits to the contracting parties.

The presentation starts with an overview of the concepts central to the evaluation of both general and PPP projects. It then presents the essential elements of the standard spreadsheet analysis of economic value. It illustrates the analysis using a realistic case study of a hypothetical public-private partnership for developing and operating a major international airport. This case provides a useful vehicle for illustrating the important concepts and mechanics of evaluating public-private projects.

ESD-WP-2014-13 Train Timetable Design for Shared Railway Systems using a Linear Programming Approach to Approximate Dynamic Programming

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

Mort Webster
Associate Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering
Energy and Mineral Engineering
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, 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

In the last 15 years, the use of rail infrastructure by different train operating companies (shared railway system) has been proposed as a way to improve infrastructure utilization and to increase efficiency in the railway industry. Shared use requires coordination between the infrastructure manager and multiple train operators in a competitive framework, so that regulators must design appropriate capacity pricing and allocation mechanisms. However, the resulting capacity utilization from a given mechanism in the railway industry cannot be known in the absence of operations. Therefore assessment of capacity requires the determination of the train timetable, which eliminates any potential conflicts in bids from the operators. Although there is a broad literature that proposes train timetabling methods for railway systems with single operators, there are few models for shared competitive railway systems. This paper proposes a train timetabling model for shared railway systems that explicitly considers network effects and the existence of multiple operators requesting to operate several types of trains traveling along different routes in the network. The model is formulated and solved both as a mixed integer linear programming (MILP) problem (using a commercial solver) and as a dynamic programming (DP) problem. We solve the DP formulation with a novel algorithm based on a linear programming (LP) approach to approximate dynamic programming (ADP) that can solve much larger problems than are computationally intractable with commercial MILP solvers. The model simulates the optimal decisions by an infrastructure manager for a shared railway system with respect to a given objective function and safety constraints. This model can be used to evaluate alternative capacity pricing and allocation mechanism. We demonstrate the method for one possible capacity pricing and allocation mechanism, and show how the competing demands and the decisions of the infrastructure manager under this mechanism impact the operations on a shared railway system for all stakeholders.

ESD-WP-2014-12 Innovation Dynamics in the Development of Nuclear Energy and Electric Vehicles in France

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

Abdelkrim Doufene
Postdoctoral Associate
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: doufene@mit.edu

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

Olivier de Weck
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems
Executive Director, MIT Production in the Innovation Economy (PIE) Study
Co-Director, Center for Complex Engineering Systems at KACST and MIT
Secretary and Treasurer, Council of Engineering Systems Universities (CESUN)
Engineering Systems Division
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA USA
Email: deweck@mit.edu

Technological change is shaped by a confluence of processes that are governed by socio-political, economic, and regulatory factors within a region. In this paper we describe the transformation of the electricity generation system in France and the emerging changes in the transportation sector in the country. We trace the impact of national energy security policy in France after the 1973 oil crisis that catalyzed a shift from dependence on fossil fuel to nuclear power, and then examine the continuing impacts of that legacy that are now emerging through development and deployment of electric vehicles in the country. We examine the two cases of nuclear power and electric vehicles in France using processes of innovation, and discuss the interaction of these processes that formed reinforcing loops to advance these technologies in the country and highlight the role of sustained policy in initiating and driving the reinforcing cycles. We also discuss the issue of new emerging linkages between the electric power generation and transportation sectors that were traditionally decoupled due to use of different fuel sources. We expand the notion of path dependence, and discuss how established technologies in one sector can shape future technological trajectory in other sectors.

ESD-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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