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Systems Modelling

Lecture 03

OUTLINE

A Situation Summary
Approaches for Describing A Relevant System
System Models
Influence Diagrams
Quantitative Modelling

Systems Modeling
We will apply the systems concepts and thinking discussed
before to a real-life problematic situation
Define a relevant system for it.
Several cases problematic situations discussed
System modelling: The process of conceptualizing a system of
interest.
This involves two steps: Describing a problem situation and a
relevant system

A Situation Summary
The first step when approaching a problem
situation is to familiarize yourself with:
the situation
Its processes and structures
The people involved
Their aims and desires
Relationship between them
The hierarchy or power structure
The resources available
The data sources and information

A Problem Situation
To get a feel for anything you discovered
and seems relevant for describing the problem
situation.
Rich Picture Diagram is a useful tool for
describing a problem situation

Rich Picture Diagram


A cartoon-like summary of everything the
observer knows about the situation studied
Diagram or concept -is not a system
description
Only one approach of making a situation
summary

Rich Picture: A Piece of Sky is Missing

Problematic Situation
The person looking at the situation
The structural elements
The process elements
The relationships between structure and
process

The Socio-Technical Model


[Leavitt (1964)].
Structure

Technology
(tools)

Task

People
(actors)

Rich Picture Diagram


Guidelines:
Elements of structure (All components of the situation are
relatively stable -e.g., all physical aspects)
Elements of process (All aspects that undergo change -e.g.,
activities, flow and processing of materials)
Relationship between structure and process and between
process (how does the structure affect condition of process;
one process affects other processes)

Rich Picture Diagram


For human activity systems:
A rich picture should be included hard facts and soft facts.
The rich picture is never finished
Common mistake:
Each item pictured needs to be connected one or more other
items (Note that rich picture is not a system description)
The uses of rich picture:

An ideal vehicle for communicating with other


people about complex and problematic situation

Approaches for describing


a relevant system
A system description consists in specifying
the transformation process(es) of the system
the boundary of the system
the components and subsystems and the structure
the inputs and the outputs (desired & undesired outputs)
Two Approaches for describing a relevant system:
Structural Approach
Process Approach

Structural Approach
A typical structure usually found for situation
considered, e.g., a waiting line structure.
The situation is well understood
Using a known basic structure allows fast
progress toward a complete system
description

Process Approach
No assumption about the possible system structure
The observed processes and relationships are used to discover
a good structure
A good starting point is to determine from whose standpoint
to view the system and then define the prime transformation
process.
Rules help in identifying the components, inputs and outputs
of the system.

Rules
Any aspect that affects the systems, but in
turn is not significantly affected by it, is an
input from the environment system. This
covers all external controls.
Any aspect that is directly or indirectly
affected or controlled by the system, but turn
does not affected any other aspect of the
system, is a system output.

Any entity that is either part of the systems structure or its


transformation process(es) is a component of the system,
unless it is an output of the system. Similarly, if the system or
any of its components affects an entity or exercises control
over it, then that entity is a component, unless it is a system
output.
Any aspect that does not affect the system, or is not affected
by it, or not part of its structure or transformation process is
irrelevant, and can be ignored

System Models
The activity of building a model is referred to
as systems modeling.
A model may be iconic, symbolic, or analogous
Symbolic Models:
Representation of the relationships between
various entities or concept by means of symbols.

Mathematical Models
Relationships between various entities are
expressed in the form of mathematical
expressions:
Function,
Equation, and
Inequalities

Example: Case Study C [Murthy, et.al. (1990)]


Optimal Production

Case 1: The Ozone Hole


A system for how the ozone layer in the stratosphere is
gradually destroyed through the continued release of CFSs
into the atmosphere, allowing a greater fraction of the suns
uv-rays to reach the earths surface.
Input:
Process:
Component
Structure:
Output:

Case 2: Lubricating Oil Division (LOD)

A situation summary
Identifying the problem
A system relevant
Influence diagram

The Narrow System:[LOD]


A system for the replenishment and stock
control of packaged finished goods which
keeps the total operating costs for the LOD as
low as possible while maintaining the current
level of customer service

Relevant System:[LOD]
To use the typical inventory/production
control structure for defining the system
But the problem situation includes aspects not
normally found in such a structure e.g. rules
to meet big and small customer orders
Use the Process Approach

Relevant System:[LOD]
Big customer order is met by scheduling a
special production run (is it outside the
narrow system ?)
This aspect affects the inventory/production
control system of LOD
Cutoff point is considered as one of the two
decision variables.
What type of control open loop control (the
customer order classification input to the
system)

Identifying the system aspects


See Table 5-1.
The easiest way is to start out by listing

The control inputs


The performance outputs
Any other system outputs,
Then followed by structure, process, component of the system

Two potential inputs breakdown in the operation of the


refinery and production capacities, are ignored (why?)

Influence Diagrams (ID)


Insightful for bringing out the transformation process of
the system
in term of the structural and causal relationships between
systems components.

Depicts the influence relationship


Between the inputs into a system and its component (the system
variables)
Between the component of the system, and
Between the component and the outputs of the system, including
performance measures
(these influence relationship can usually be measured in quantitative
terms)

Approach To Draw An ID
Control and other inputs State variables
System outputs (in a logical sequence)
For example, the customer order pattern (an
input) & cutoff point (a decision) determine
order patterns (met from stock or special
production run)
Each customer order pattern determines the
annual volume by spec-prod-run (AVPR) or
annual volume met from stock (AVS).

Approach To Draw An ID
AVPR the annual number of setups
Together with the cost of production setup
the annual setup cost for special production
run, and so forth.

Figure 5-1: OR/MS methodology


F
O
R
M
U
L
A
T
I
O
N

Summarizing
problem
situation
Identifying
problem for
analysis

FORWARD LINKAGES

Decribing
relevant
system

PROJECT PROPOSAL

Building a
mathematical
1
model
M
O
D
E
L
I
N
G

Finding
preferred
solution
Validation &
performance
testing

Analyzing
sensitivity
of solution
I
M
P
L
E
M
E
N
T
A
T
O
N

PROJECT REPORT

Planning
Implementatio
n

Establishing
control over
solution

Implementing
solution

10
DOCUMENTATION &
USER'S MANUAL
11

Following up
solution use
BACKWARD LINKAGES

SOLUTION AUDIT