Interactive Model-Centric Systems Engineering (IMCSE)

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IMCSE seeks to leverage the intersection of Big Data Science, Visual Analytics, Complex Systems, and Model-based Systems Engineering (MBSE)

Interactive Model-Centric Systems Engineering (IMCSE), sponsored by the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), is a new research program initiated in May 2014, and seeks to fill a critical gap in ongoing model-based engineering research and practice.

While progress has been made on standards, methods and techniques for model-based systems engineering, little attention has been given to human-model interaction. Similarly, a science of human-systems interaction has emerged, but focuses on operational systems. The research team believes there are unique factors, considerations, and needs for human interaction with models, as abstractions of reality. Models are increasingly used to drive major acquisition and design decisions, yet the diverse set of model developers, analysts, and decision makers are faced with many challenges in transitioning to model-centric engineering. For instance, there are issues with perceived truthfulness of models and trust in the models that impact the timeliness, quality, and confidence in model-based decisions.

The IMCSE research program aims to develop transformative results through enabling intense human-model interaction, to rapidly conceive of systems and interact with models in order to make rapid trades to decide on what is most effective given present knowledge and future uncertainties, as well as what is practical given resources and constraints. IMCSE focuses at the intersection of four pillars: visual analytics, big data science, model-based systems engineering and the complex systems domain. The team has discovered key challenges for further investigation, including visual analytics of artificial (model-generated) data; trade-off and choice of models; and cognitive and perceptual considerations in human-model interaction.

IMCSE is structured in terms of three related thrusts: Applications, Fundamentals, and Foundations, with supporting MPTs

Several proof-of-concept prototypes are under development and will be made publically available. These will showcase specific strategies and implementation possibilities for enhancing the human-model interaction for several model-based activities, leveraging prior research prototypes as a foundation in order to accelerate development and transition of the prototypes.

the research will produce:

  1. A compilation of knowledge drawing from literature and subject matter experts across four pillars and several challenge areas.
  2. Methods, processes and techniques for enhanced human-model interaction and model-based decision making.
  3. Prototypes to demonstrate innovations in providing enhanced human-model interaction.
  4. A self-identified research community rallying around IMCSE as a viable research area.
  5. Technical reports, workshop reports, published papers, and guidance materials to enable knowledge transfer, foster collaborative research and accelerate transition to practice.

Related Projects

Related Files

Ross, A.M., "Interactive Model-Centric Systems Engineering," Presentation to the 5th Annual SERC Sponsor Research Review, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, February 2014. [briefing]
Ross, A.M., "Interactive Model-Centric Systems Engineering: Progress and Updates," Presentation to the 6th Annual SERC Sponsor Research Review, Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies, Washington, DC, December 2014. [briefing]
IMCSE Phase One Technical Report SERC-2014-TR-048-1, September 2014. [pdf]
IMCSE Phase Two Technical Report SERC-2015-TR-048-2, February 2015. [pdf]
Pathfinder Workshop Report, February 2015. [pdf]