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Imre Horváth


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Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A 2015 Vol.16 No.9 P.681-705


An initial categorization of foundational research in complex technical systems

Author(s):  Imre Horváth

Affiliation(s):  Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CE Delft, the Netherlands

Corresponding email(s):   i.horvath@tudelft.nl

Key Words:  Foundational research, Complex technical systems, Initial categorization, Research categories and domains

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Imre Horváth. An initial categorization of foundational research in complex technical systems[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science A, 2015, 16(1): 681-705.

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There has been intense foundational research in complex technical systems (CTSs) over the last half century. These systems are exemplified by advanced mechatronics systems, embedded control systems, real-time systems, agent-based smart systems, distributed software systems, internet of things systems, and cyber-physical systems. The objective of this paper is to offer an initial cataloguing of the various research domains and to identify the major research issues. The paper has an ontological flavour, because it concentrates on what research has been and is being done, rather than on why and how research is done. The underpinning study has been done in three stages: (i) intuition-driven exploration of a reference set of related academic publications, (ii) evidence-based specification of a categorization of the domains and subdomains of research, and (iii) refinement and validation of the proposed classification based on a control set of related academic publications. The proposed reasoning model identifies three categories of research domains. The ‘intellectualizations’ category includes research domains such as: (i) philosophy, (ii) ontology, and (iii) epistemology of CTSs. The research domains included in the ‘realizations’ category are: (iv) methodology, and (v) creation of CTSs. The domains considered in the ‘influences’ category are: (vi) manifestations, and (vii) axiology of CTSs. Based on the proposed reasoning model a landscape of foundational research in CTSs is proposed for public debate. Our follow-up study focuses on the extension of the proposed classification to other families of complex engineered systems such as sociotechnical systems and social ecosystems.

The article concerns the current issues of complex systems.


方法:1. 对相关的学术刊物进行直觉探索;2. 对领域和子领域研究给出基于证据的分类规范;3. 对基于相关学术刊物的控制给出的分类进行提炼与验证。


Darkslateblue:Affiliate; Royal Blue:Author; Turquoise:Article


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