Complex Design Networks: Structure and Dynamics
28 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2018
Date Written: December 31, 2017
Why was the $6 billion FAA air traffic control project scrapped? How could the 1977 New York City blackout occur? Why do large scale engineering systems or technology projects fail? How do engineering changes and errors propagate, and how is that related to epidemics and earthquakes? In this paper we demonstrate how the rapidly expanding science of complex design networks could provide answers to these intriguing questions. We review key concepts, focusing on non-trivial topological features that often occur in real-world large-scale product design and development networks; and the remarkable interplay between these structural features and the dynamics of design rework and errors, network robustness and resilience, and design leverage via effective resource allocation. We anticipate that the empirical and theoretical insights gained by modeling real-world large-scale product design and development systems as self-organizing complex networks will turn out to be the standard framework of a genuine science of design.
Keywords: Product Design, Product Development, Complexity, Complex Networks, Complex Systems, Social Networks, Organizational Complexity, Complex Adaptive Systems
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