Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative

Link post

This is a linkpost for a re­search ini­ti­a­tive at MIT I just dis­cov­ered while fol­low­ing up on some ear­lier read­ing. I have linked to the Publi­ca­tions page to make it eas­iest for peo­ple to get in and start pe­rus­ing.

The goal of this ini­ti­a­tive is to im­prove state-of-the-art sys­tems en­g­ineer­ing, and in par­tic­u­lar to be able to ac­count for un­cer­tainty and chang­ing con­texts dur­ing and af­ter the de­sign phase.

What drove me to bring it to the at­ten­tion of this com­mu­nity is the MATE pro­gram, which stands for Multi-At­tribute Tradespace Ex­plo­ra­tion. This is in­ter­est­ing be­cause it con­sists of defin­ing de­sir­able qual­ities and then build­ing a util­ity func­tion out of them, upon which de­sign de­ci­sions will be based.

  • Among the pub­li­ca­tions are a se­ries of ap­plied at­tempts at build­ing ac­tual util­ity func­tions for real things, then us­ing de­ci­sion the­ory with them.

  • They in­crease the amount of things you can trade off for by ex­pand­ing what they call the “Ilities” (re­li­a­bil­ity, ver­sa­tility, etc). Among these new ilities is a more ad­vanced no­tion of safety.

  • This means there is a body of ap­plied work which has a con­cept of safety, calcu­lated into util­ity func­tions, and op­er­ated on ac­cord­ing to de­ci­sion the­ory.

Fur­ther up­dates will be made in the com­ments as I finish read­ings.