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School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering

SIMP

"Systems Integration for Major Projects"

Staff and funding

Principal investigator: Prof Neil Maiden
Research staff: Pete Pavan and Xiaohong Zhu
Total funding: £820,000
Funding to the Centre: £320,000
Funding source: EPSRC Systems Integration Initiative
Duration: October 2000 to January 2004

Project description

SIMP (Systems Integration for Major Projects) addresses the problem of risk and uncertainty management in large-scale systems engineering. It investigates the application of Bayesian belief networks, coupling analysis and scenario analysis to support BAE SYSTEMS with risk, uncertainty and requirements conformance management. The research is anchored in case studies from live BAE SYSTEMS projects to development new naval platforms.

Research in the Centre builds on the earlier CREWS and SERPS projects to produce an innovative approach for exploring requirements-architectural design trade-offs using scenarios. The approach, called ART-SCENE (Analysing Requirements Trade-offs - Scenario Evaluation), provides systems engineers with process guidance and techniques to model scenario, requirements and architectural designs concurrently. The ART-SCENE tool kit supports the processes and modelling. It is an integration of a suite of existing and new software tools that work together to inform requirements-architecture trade-off analysis:

  • The Scenario Presenter - a web-based scenario generation walkthrough tool to discover and specify complete requirements for a system - click on www.soi.city.ac.uk/artscene to see the tool;

  • REDEPEND - a Microsoft Visio plug-in that enables developers to graphically model system goals using the I* formalism from the University of Toronto then specify them using the VOLERE shell;

  • AutoFocus - an architectural modelling and design tool from the Technical University of Munchen that enables the execution of scenarios against an architectural design - see www.autofocus.de for more information;

  • Agentsheets - a Java-based, visual agent simulation tool from www.agentsheets.com that combines agent-based scenario simulations with end-user programming capabilities.

The ART-SCENE environment integrates these tools together using the process and modelling frameworks. It is designed to offer systems engineers a plug-and-play environment in which to explore different requirement-design trade-offs through scenario generation and execution. We are currently evaluating ART-SCENE's effectiveness in evaluation studies with BAE SYSTEMS.

Project collaborators

Key publications include

  • Maiden N.A.M., Pavan P., Gizikis A., Clause O., Kim H. & Zhu X., 2002, 'Making Decisions with Requirements: Integrating i* Goal Modelling and the AHP', Proceedings REFSQ'2002 Workshop, 9-10 September 2002, Essen, Germany.

  • Boutin M., Pavan P. & Maiden N.A.M., 2002, 'Composing Scenarios: Painting a Picture with the Scenario Palette', Proceedings REFSQ'2002 Workshop, 9-10 September 2002, Essen, Germany.