TU Delft
Education Type
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2006/2007 Technology, Policy and Management Master Complex Systems Engineering and Management
Designing Multi-actor Systems
Module Manager
Name E-mail
Prof.dr.ir. A. Verbraeck    A.Verbraeck@tudelft.nl
Name E-mail
Prof.mr.dr. E.F. ten Heuvelhof    E.F.tenHeuvelhof@tudelft.nl
Dr. M. Kars    M.Kars@tudelft.nl
Education Period
Exam Period
Course Language
Expected prior knowledge
The TB Bachelor, in particular spm3120
Students learn about designing complex, technological, large scale systems in multi-actor environments, in short multi-actor systems. Different perspectives on systems design are discussed to provide students with a background for working with designers from different disciplines. Various aspects and principles of designing multi-actor systems are discussed from a substantive and a process perspective. A conceptual framework for designing systems is presented that highlights formulating requirements, developing a search space, ex-ante testing of design alternatives and the selection of a systems design as main design activities. Methods and tools for analysis and design of systems are integrated with principles for the design and management of decision making processes. In this course the student becomes familiar with the specific SEPAM-perspective on designing MAS. The course builds upon the bachelorís course spm3120 Functional design. The course lays the foundation for the other design-oriented courses in the first year of the SEPAM-masterís.
Course Contents
Study Goals
On completion of this course the student is familiar with the specifis SEPAM perspective on designing largescale, technology enabled multi-actor systems in multi-actor environments. In particular, the student:

- can use concepts and terminology related to the design of MAS;
- understands systems thinking and the difference between hard and soft systems thinking;
- is able to differentiate between an analytical and a design attitude;
- can adopt a design attitude;
- understands differences between design perspectives used in technical and social disciplines;
- understands the role of models and modelling in designing MAS;
- knows methods and tools to enhance creativity in the design process. The student can apply some of these methods.
- knows methods and tools to enable sharing of knowledge and view points between actors involved in the design process;
- understands the difference and interaction between substantive and decision-making issues in designing MAS
- knows process design guidelines for designing a decision making process in a multi-actor environment;
- can choose, develop and execute ex-ante performance tests on both content-related and process-related system performance criteria.
- can apply methods and tools that facilitate the selection process in systems design;
- understands about risks, safety, sustainability and quality in MAS design form both a substantive and a decisionmaking perspective.
Education Method
Lectures, panel discussions, instructions, workshops.
Literature and Study Materials
- Reader spm 4110
- Process management (english version); De Bruin, Ten Heuvelhof and In ít Veld, Kluwer, 2002
- Maier, M.W. and Rechtin, E.; The art of Systems architecting, CRC-press (2002)
- Other module materials will be announced through blackboard
The course includes workshops and assignments and a final exam. The final mark is determined by the grade for the exam, under the condition of satisfactory results/participation for the assignments and workshop(s).