A modelling framework to support design of complex engineering systems in early design stages

  • Shiva AbdoliEmail author
  • Sami Kara
Original Paper


Production, assembly or logistic systems exist in widespread domains. It is agreed that more than 50% of life-cycle performance, costs and environmental impacts of such systems are due to those decisions that are made in their early design stages (Reich, Res Eng Design 28(4):411–419,, 2017). However, the large scale and multi-disciplinary essence of such systems make their design considerably challenging. Most of the design approaches follow a sequential approach such that the design in each lower level is finalized/frozen before proceeding to the next level. However, such approaches do not properly address the interaction between different design disciplines which may later lead to design inconsistencies. Therefore, this paper aimed to propose a modelling framework that allows having an integrated approach in the early design stages of such systems. To this end, first the framework prescribed developing an executable meta-architecture that can embody all the design requirements. Second, the framework describes the interconnections between the meta-architecture with certain supporting algorithms and optimization models. This allows generating and simulating different design alternatives and observing the impact of different design decisions on system integrated performance. Therefore, the proposed framework with its providing outcomes can be used to support the decision making in early design stages of such systems. The framework is applied in a real case study from the warehousing domain, which serves to show the practical application of the proposed framework.


Complex engineering systems Object Oriented modelling Systems engineering System logical architecture Discrete event simulation Finite state machine 


Supplementary material

163_2019_321_MOESM1_ESM.docx (58 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 57 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sustainability in Manufacturing and Life Cycle Engineering Research Group, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing EngineeringUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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