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A Design Structure Matrix Approach to Designing Complex Systems, A National Airspace System Application


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Title: A Design Structure Matrix Approach to Designing Complex Systems, A National Airspace System Application

A Design Structure Matrix Approach to Designing
Complex Systems, A National Airspace System
  • Jamaal Lipscomb
  • October 25, 2016

  • Purpose
  • Motivation
  • Dependency Structure Matrix
  • Categories
  • Techniques
  • Conceptual Model
  • Component Based Example
  • Why Clustering
  • Potential Application
  • Analysis Framework
  • Conclusion

  • Application of the Dependency Structure Matrix
    (DSM) for modeling the complex systems
  • Analysis of DSM application for improved and
    realistic transition strategy
  • Identification of interdependencies and
    redundancies between system elements
  • Decrease system design complexity and improve
    efficiency and cost during the design process

  • There is a need for improved system modeling
    techniques that can assist in the modernization
    of the systems
  • Identify system element interdependencies
  • Improve system performance
  • Reduce system development costs
  • Improve schedule performance

Dependency Structure Matrix (DSM)
  • Can be used to
  • Analyze and manage complex systems
  • Provide a method for the user to model,
    visualize, and analyze the dependencies among the
    entities of any system
  • Derive improvement for synthesis of a system
  • Display the relationship between components of a
    system in a compact, visual, and analytically
    advantageous form

DSM provides a comprehensive system view of the
project architecture and technology choices
  • There are two main categories of DSMs
  • Static
  • Represent system elements existing
    simultaneously, such as components of a product
    architecture or groups in an organization
  • Time-Based
  • Ordering of rows and columns represent a flow
    through time upstream activities in a process
    precede downstream activities, and terms like
    feedforward and feedback become meaningful
    when referring to interfaces

DSM Data Types Representation Application Analysis Method
DSM Data Types Representation Application Analysis Method
Task-based Task/Activity input/output relationships Project scheduling, activity sequencing, cycle time reduction Partitioning, Tearing, Banding
Parameter-based Parameter decision points and necessary precedents Low level activity sequencing and process construction Partitioning, Tearing, Banding
Team-based Multi-team interface characteristics Organizational design, interface management, team integration Clustering
Component-based Multi-component relationships System architecting, engineering and design Clustering
The DSM developed as part of this study will be
analyzed using the clustering technique. This is
a valuable technique for examining the structure
of a system.
Conceptual Model
Component-Based DSM Example
Source DSMweb.org
Why Clustering
  • Grouping nodes with high interaction into
    clusters, interfaces between clusters can be
    easily identified and allowed for the
    identification of interactions
  • Using cost assignment of interactions aid in
    optimization of the cluster assignment of
  • Management and optimization of the interfaces
    between the clustered components minimizes
    complexity and cost

Clustering DSM
Cluster 1 Front End Air Chunk
Cluster 2 Refrigerant Chunk
Cluster 3 Interior Air Chunk
Source DSMweb.org
Potential Application
  • National Airspace System (NAS)
  • The NAS is a collection of
  • Automation Systems
  • Communication Systems
  • Surveillance Systems
  • Weather Systems
  • Navigation Systems

NAS Operational Components
  • National Airspace System (NAS)
  • These systems are organized around three types of
  • Airport Towers
  • Monitor aircraft on the ground and give take-off
    and landing clearances
  • Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON)
  • Handle aircraft ascending and descending to and
    from airports
  • En Route Centers
  • Handle aircraft flying between airports at the
    higher altitudes

NAS System Architecture
Analysis Framework
Since the clustering algorithm randomly selects
elements, several runs will be completed under
similar conditions so that the data can be
Data from each of the runs will be compared to
identify like clusters
  • Case Studies
  • Terminal Automations Systems include
  • Flight Data Systems
  • Weather Data Systems
  • Surface Movement Systems

The improvements made by Ronnie Thebeau to the
clustering algorithm allows for the analysis of
the NAS DSM because it provides an adequate
answer for developing a system architecture
  • As advances in technology are made current
    systems are becoming more complex, resulting in
  • Redundancy
  • Complex Interdependencies/interoperability
  • Higher Cost
  • Schedule Slips
  • DSM addresses these challenges by
  • Identifying system redundancies and
  • Reducing/eliminating functionality overlap
  • Optimizing system development

Contact Information
  • Jamaal Lipscomb
  • (202) 385-8716
  • Jamaal.Lipscomb_at_gmail.com
  • Thomas Holzer, D. SC.
  • holzerT_at_gwu.edu
  • Shahryar Sarkani, D. Sc.
  • emseor2003_at_yahoo.com
  • Timothy Eveleigh, D. Sc
  • eveleigh_at_gwu.edu

References continued
  • Conkey, Christopher and Paszter, Andy., Tech
    Snafu Grounds Nations Fliers, The Wall Street
    Journal, November 20, 2009.
  • Yassine, Ali A., An Introduction to Modeling and
    Analyzing Complex Product Development Processes
    Using the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) Method.
    Product development research laboratory,
    University of Illinois, (2004). pp. 1-17
  • Browning, T. Applying the Design Structure
    Matrix to System Decomposition and Integration
    problems A Review and New Directions. IEEE
    Transactions on Engineering management, Vol. 48,
    No3. August 2001. Pp. 292-300
  • Fernandez, CIG, (1998) Integration Analysis of
    Product Architecture to Support Effective Team
    Co-location, Masters Thesis (ME), Massachusetts
    Institute of Technology
  • J. Bartolomei, M. Cokus, J. Dahlgren, R. de
    Neufville, D. Maldonado and J. Wilds., Analysis
    and application of design structure matrix,
    domain mapping matrix, and engineering system
    matrix frameworks, Working Paper. MIT.
    Engineering Systems Division 2007
  • Browning, T.R., (2002). Using the Design
    Structure Matrix (DSM) for Process Integration.
    Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth,
  • Thebeau, Ronnie E., (2001). Knowledge Management
    of System Interfaces and Interactions for Product
    Development Processes. Massachusetts Institute
    of Technology

  • Cone, Edward. (2002). The ugly history of Tool
    Development at the FAA. Baseline
  • Dong, Qi. (Jan. 1999). Representing Information
    Flow and Knowledge Management in Product Design
    Using the Design Structure Matrix SM Thesis.
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Pimmler, Thomas U. and Eppinger, Stephen D., (May
    1994). Integration Analysis of Product
    decomposition Working Paper. Alfred P. Sloan
    School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of
    Technology, WP3690-94-MS
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