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Systems, Volume 10, Issue 1 (February 2022) – 21 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The substrate-independence theory focuses on social systems capable of learning, self-organizing, and adapting to their environment. As a sense-making theory, it aids leaders and practitioners in building and understanding their landscape through the development of counterfactuals to help to identify adjacent pathways. Adjacent pathways start with understanding where you are (e.g., situation, problem, environment), followed by identifying coherent pathways from where you are (counterfactuals), experimenting with these alternative pathways (e.g., probing, parallel experimentations), and being open to alternative pathways (e.g., potential future states). These pathways become information in real time that is distributed using the least amount of energy necessary. This theory provides praxis for sense-making in organizations. View this paper
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16 pages, 3858 KiB  
Article
Evolutionary Game of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ Accounts-Receivable Pledge Financing in the Supply Chain
by Haiju Hu, Yakun Li, Mao Tian and Xinjiang Cai
Systems 2022, 10(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010021 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3796
Abstract
Due to limited guarantees, it is difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to obtain loans from banks. Supply chain accounts-receivable pledge financing (SCARPF) can help in overcoming those financing difficulties. This study developed an evolutionary game model of banks, core enterprises and [...] Read more.
Due to limited guarantees, it is difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to obtain loans from banks. Supply chain accounts-receivable pledge financing (SCARPF) can help in overcoming those financing difficulties. This study developed an evolutionary game model of banks, core enterprises and SMEs in SCARPF, analyzed the evolution path and evolution rules of the model, and performed a numerical simulation. The results indicated that the result of the evolutionary game depends on the initial values of the variables. When certain conditions are met, the system will evolve to (lending, keep the contract). The higher the return rate during either normal production of SMEs, the loan interest rate or supply chain punishment, the more likely it is that banks will lend money and SMEs will keep the contract. However, the bank will only be likely to lend money, enabling SMEs to keep the contract, when the probability of core enterprises and SMEs engaging in joint loan fraud—or the proportion of the benefits that SMEs share when engaging in joint loan fraud—is reduced. The results of this study provide insights for banks, core enterprises, and SMEs in supply chain financing decisions, which is conducive to solving the financing difficulties of SMEs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Modeling Approaches to Finance and Fintech Innovation)
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14 pages, 2078 KiB  
Article
The Decision of Production Systems with Quality-Contingent Demand and Condition-Based Maintenance
by Zhenhua Gao, Hongjun Wang and Hongliang Zhang
Systems 2022, 10(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010020 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2066
Abstract
To make a production plan fit with the actual situation better, we focus on the production system with equipment, and design a joint optimization strategy combining the economic production quantity (EPQ) model with condition-based maintenance. In this strategy, different maintenance operations are carried [...] Read more.
To make a production plan fit with the actual situation better, we focus on the production system with equipment, and design a joint optimization strategy combining the economic production quantity (EPQ) model with condition-based maintenance. In this strategy, different maintenance operations are carried out when the state of the equipment exceeds different thresholds. The numerical relationship between product demand rate and equipment state is established, and the average cost rate is calculated by using the renewal reward theory. An optimization model is proposed, which takes the lowest average cost rate as the objective function with the economic production quantity and condition-based maintenance threshold are taken as the decision variables. An improved genetic algorithm with an elite strategy is used to solve the model. The results shows that the cost of the proposed model is lower and the sensitivity analysis can describe the relationship between the various elements of the production system clearly, understand the system state quickly, and demonstrate the proposed model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Complex Systems)
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20 pages, 5490 KiB  
Article
Verifying the Smart Contracts of the Port Supply Chain System Based on Probabilistic Model Checking
by Yang Liu, Ziyu Zhou, Yongsheng Yang and Yan Ma
Systems 2022, 10(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010019 - 16 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 6301
Abstract
Port supply chains play a very important role in the process of economic globalization. Lack of trust of the mechanism is the main factor in restricting the development of port supply chains. Blockchains have great potential to solve the trust problem among all [...] Read more.
Port supply chains play a very important role in the process of economic globalization. Lack of trust of the mechanism is the main factor in restricting the development of port supply chains. Blockchains have great potential to solve the trust problem among all participants using port supply chains, which can reduce costs and improve efficiency. As the bridge between blockchains and port supply chains, smart contracts reconstruct the business process of blockchain-empowered port supply chains. In this article, we present an architecture of a consortium blockchain-empowered port supply chain system, and propose a system verification framework for the smart contracts of port supply chains with probabilistic behaviors. The smart contracts are modeled as DTMCs (Discrete-Time Markov Chains), which are automatically transformed through the BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) description of the smart contracts. The requirements are specified by PCTL (Probabilistic Computation Tree Logic). Moreover, we implement the customs clearance process of the Shanghai Yangshan Port based on blockchain Hyperledger Fabric, and reconstruct the clearance process with smart contracts. We use it to demonstrate the effectiveness of this framework, and identify the smart contracts that do not meet the expected needs of users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Business Model–the Perspective of Systems Thinking and Innovation)
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25 pages, 4539 KiB  
Article
A Systems Thinking Archetype to Understand, Analyze, and Evaluate the Evolution of International Political Crises
by Stefano Armenia, Georgios Tsaples and Eduardo Franco
Systems 2022, 10(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010018 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4900
Abstract
Crises are a relevant element of the modern political, economic, and social landscape. To better understand them and their potential dynamic evolution, and thus allow decision makers in turn to design more effective intervention measures, a more comprehensive understanding of their complexity is [...] Read more.
Crises are a relevant element of the modern political, economic, and social landscape. To better understand them and their potential dynamic evolution, and thus allow decision makers in turn to design more effective intervention measures, a more comprehensive understanding of their complexity is necessary. Framing a political crisis, especially one where conflicts might ensue, can be crucial for dealing with it. Consequently, there is the need to adopt a new paradigm that can reveal and contextualize the fundamental factors that can give rise to a political crisis, thus allowing for a more accurate description of it and, in turn, ensuring that every stakeholder will perceive it similarly. The present study proposes such a paradigm, to understand how a political crisis emerges, how it might evolve, and how the intertwined relevant factors can be communicated clearly, and yet be layered, which was the Systems Thinking approach. A set of case studies is presented to demonstrate the added value of such an approach. The performed analysis also draws inspiration from international relations theories, through which the Systems Thinking approach shows its capability in effectively evaluating the potentially underlying dynamics of crises and providing an analytical ground for their management and prevention. Full article
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17 pages, 17930 KiB  
Article
Implementation and Validation of a Simple Direct Identification Method for an Experimental Multi-Span Web Transport System
by Nicola Ivan Giannoccaro and Tetsuzo Sakamoto
Systems 2022, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010017 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2121
Abstract
The industrial processes that require the use of the web require a control system which allows for preserving the properties of the web unaltered, avoiding the risk of wrinkling, tearing, breakage and other defects. This control generally takes place by detecting the tension [...] Read more.
The industrial processes that require the use of the web require a control system which allows for preserving the properties of the web unaltered, avoiding the risk of wrinkling, tearing, breakage and other defects. This control generally takes place by detecting the tension and the speed in certain points of the system since these variables determine the stress state on the web, which, if altered beyond certain ranges, can lead to the defects mentioned above. The problem of tension and web speed control is very demanding because the system’s dynamic is a function of many process variables that often vary over a wide range. In this study, an experimental system consisting of 12 rollers, four motorised, was analysed. This system was divided into four subsystems according to the logic of decentralised control. The tension of the initial and final subsystems and the speeds of the two central subsystems were monitored. This study proposes estimating continuous-time transfer functions using experimental time-domain data. A nonlinear least-squares search-based method minimises a weighted prediction error norm for directly identifying the mathematical model used to describe the web transport system. To test the performance of the proposed strategy, experimental data were collected in an open-loop configuration with constant voltage given to the four servo motors. The collected data were subsequently processed to define an extremely simple system model composed of a very limited number of parameters representing the system through transfer functions. The model was further validated by comparing the results obtained through simulations with the experimental data obtained with different inputs, and was also validated with some closed-loop tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Applications of System Identification)
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21 pages, 7015 KiB  
Article
Using Systems Thinking and Modelling: Ecological Land Utilisation Efficiency in the Yangtze Delta in China
by Chunmei Zhang, Ziwen Feng, Qilong Ren and Wei-Lng Hsu
Systems 2022, 10(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010016 - 13 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2284
Abstract
Ecological land has two definitions: the broad category and the narrow category. This paper studied the narrow category, which refers to the land whose main purpose is to provide ecological services, such as environmental regulation and biological conservation. Ecological land areas are likely [...] Read more.
Ecological land has two definitions: the broad category and the narrow category. This paper studied the narrow category, which refers to the land whose main purpose is to provide ecological services, such as environmental regulation and biological conservation. Ecological land areas are likely to decrease with the development of urbanisation all over the world, which poses potential risks to the environment, society, and public health, and low utilisation efficiency of ecological land will exacerbate this risk. Based on the actual input–output situation of ecological land utilisation, we constructed an index system in the Yangtze Delta to measure the ecological land utilisation efficiency with a Slack-Based Model (SBM) in the data envelopment analysis (DEA). The results revealed that the comprehensive efficiency exhibited an increasing trend from 2012 to 2020, and more high-efficiency cities appeared in the areas closer to Shanghai. Both the technical efficiency and scale efficiency increased over the research period. The technical efficiencies in most cities were efficient and equal to the scale efficiencies. Among the remaining cities, the technical efficiencies and scale efficiencies were inefficient and not synchronous. In addition, we found that the that poor efficiencies of some cities can mainly be attributed to low-technology, an unsuited-scale, or a combination of these. In the future, improvement should be focused on the economical and intensive use of ecological land, technical innovations, and the optimal scale. The present results can provide references for making scientific decisions regarding the efficient utilisation of ecological land in the Yangtze Delta and other similar rapid-urbanization areas. Full article
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24 pages, 994 KiB  
Article
“I’m Afraid I Can’t Do That, Dave”; Getting to Know Your Buddies in a Human–Agent Team
by Maarten P. D. Schadd, Tjeerd A. J. Schoonderwoerd, Karel van den Bosch, Olaf H. Visker, Tjalling Haije and Kim H. J. Veltman
Systems 2022, 10(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010015 - 12 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3025
Abstract
The rapid progress in artificial intelligence enables technology to more and more become a partner of humans in a team, rather than being a tool. Even more than in human teams, partners of human–agent teams have different strengths and weaknesses, and they must [...] Read more.
The rapid progress in artificial intelligence enables technology to more and more become a partner of humans in a team, rather than being a tool. Even more than in human teams, partners of human–agent teams have different strengths and weaknesses, and they must acknowledge and utilize their respective capabilities. Coordinated team collaboration can be accomplished by smartly designing the interactions within human–agent teams. Such designs are called Team Design Patterns (TDPs). We investigated the effects of a specific TDP on proactive task reassignment. This TDP supports team members to dynamically allocate tasks by utilizing their knowledge about the task demands and about the capabilities of team members. In a pilot study, agent–agent teams were used to study the effectiveness of proactive task reassignment. Results showed that this TDP improves a team’s performance, provided that partners have accurate knowledge representations of each member’s skill level. The main study of this paper addresses the effects of task reassignments in a human–agent team. It was hypothesized that when agents provide explanations when issuing and responding to task reassignment requests, this will enhance the quality of the human’s mental model. Results confirmed that participants developed more accurate mental models when agent-partners provide explanations. This did not result in a higher performance of the human–agent team, however. The study contributes to our understanding of designing effective collaboration in human–agent teams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers of Agents and Multiagent Systems)
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19 pages, 2491 KiB  
Article
Measuring Bank Systemic Risk in China: A Network Model Analysis
by Jin Zou, Xu Fu, Jun Yang and Chi Gong
Systems 2022, 10(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010014 - 8 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3605
Abstract
Correlation networks and risk spillovers within financial institutions contribute to the generation and dissemination of systemic risk. In this paper, a risk correlation network is constructed among Chinese banks employing the maximum entropy method, which simulates the individual risks of banks in the [...] Read more.
Correlation networks and risk spillovers within financial institutions contribute to the generation and dissemination of systemic risk. In this paper, a risk correlation network is constructed among Chinese banks employing the maximum entropy method, which simulates the individual risks of banks in the presence of exogenous shocks, the contagious risks, and total systemic risk through the effect of network spillovers, and analyzes its influencing factors. The results show that there is an increasingly rising trend in the overall systemic risk of China’s banking industry, and that the value of systemic risk is relatively large. From the perspective of the composition of banking systemic risk, individual risk accounts for a large proportion, about 70%, which is the main source of banking systemic risk, among which China’s state-owned commercial banks are the largest source. The contagious risk of banks accounts for about 30%. Furthermore, the contagious risk contribution of various banks is basically negatively correlated with their scale. The smallest urban commercial bank in the banking industry contributes at least 50% of the contagion risk, while the state-owned commercial bank, which accounts for about 40% of the total assets of the banking industry, only contributes less than 30% of the contagion risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Modeling Approaches to Finance and Fintech Innovation)
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37 pages, 6942 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Effects on the Dual Circulation Promotion Policy for Cross-Border E-Commerce B2B Export Trade Based on System Dynamics during COVID-19
by Tinggui Chen, Yiwen Qiu, Bing Wang and Jianjun Yang
Systems 2022, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010013 - 3 Feb 2022
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 7404
Abstract
In 2020, the cross-border e-commerce industry suffered a setback against the backdrop of the global epidemic. In the context of the global epidemic and economic structural reform and transformation, China has proposed a new economic pattern of “dual circulation” development, and this measure [...] Read more.
In 2020, the cross-border e-commerce industry suffered a setback against the backdrop of the global epidemic. In the context of the global epidemic and economic structural reform and transformation, China has proposed a new economic pattern of “dual circulation” development, and this measure has greatly promoted the development of China’s cross-border e-commerce industry. According to relevant data, the export share of China’s cross-border e-commerce accounted for 77.6% of its market size in 2020. As a result, this paper studies the influence of the “dual circulation” measure on the development of cross-border e-commerce B2B export trade and classifies and analyzes the policies related to the cross-border e-commerce industry in the “dual circulation” measure. Then, a system dynamics model reflecting the lag effect of this measure on cross-border e-commerce B2B export is also constructed, and the effects of different single policies and different policy combinations on cross-border e-commerce B2B export are simulated successively. The modeling process and simulation results demonstrate that: (1) infrastructure investment of cross-border e-commerce is most affected by policy lag, followed by government supervision and enterprise operation, while talent training of cross-border e-commerce and customs supervision are almost not affected by policy lag; (2) tax policy, customs clearance policy, and fiscal policy have greater effects on the promotion of cross-border e-commerce B2B exports, while the payment policy and talent policy have less impact on them; and (3) from the simulation results of policy combination, it can be seen that the regulatory environment (i.e., regulatory policies) is the most important to promote cross-border e-commerce B2B export trade, followed by financial support, customs environment, and business environment. Finally, this paper gives suggestions for the formulation of relevant government policies to promote the development of cross-border e-commerce B2B export trade and provide some reference values for other governments to develop the cross-border e-commerce B2B export trade industry. Full article
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27 pages, 10294 KiB  
Article
Simulation of Cooperation Scenarios of BRI-Related Countries Based on a GVC Network
by Dawei Wang, Jun Guan, Chunxiu Liu, Chuke Jiang and Lizhi Xing
Systems 2022, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010012 - 3 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2765
Abstract
The inter-country input–output table is appropriate for presenting sophisticated inter-industry dependencies from a global perspective. Using the above table one can perceive the amount of production resources that sectors obtain from their upstream ones, as well as the number of productive capacities that [...] Read more.
The inter-country input–output table is appropriate for presenting sophisticated inter-industry dependencies from a global perspective. Using the above table one can perceive the amount of production resources that sectors obtain from their upstream ones, as well as the number of productive capacities that sectors provide for their downstream ones. In other words, competition/collaboration occurs when sectors share the same providers/consumers because all sectors’ products and services outputted to downstream ones are limited. Thus, inter-industry competition for inputs from upstream sectors, or collaboration on outputs to downstream sectors, may be quantified with input–output matrix transformation. In this paper, a novel analytical framework of inter-industry collaborative relations is established based on the bipartite graph theory and the resource allocation process. The Collaborative Opportunity Index and Collaborative Threat index are designed to quantitatively measure the industrial influence hidden in the topological structure of the global value chain (GVC) network. Scenario simulations are carried out to forecast the potential and trends of international capacity cooperation within Asian, European, and African nations related to the Belt and Road Initiative, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data Driven Decision-Making for Complex Production Systems)
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16 pages, 1557 KiB  
Article
Examining the Influence of Moral Norms on Dockless Shared Bicycle Users’ Parking Behavior—An Exploratory Study Based on the Theory of Planned Behavior
by Wei Wei, Chao Gu and Chun Yang
Systems 2022, 10(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010011 - 2 Feb 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2633
Abstract
The disorderly parking of dockless shared bicycles (DBS) has brought about great challenges to the use and management of shared bicycles. Although previous research related to the DBS industry has covered many patterns, the psychological mechanisms underlying users’ behavior remain unclear. This study [...] Read more.
The disorderly parking of dockless shared bicycles (DBS) has brought about great challenges to the use and management of shared bicycles. Although previous research related to the DBS industry has covered many patterns, the psychological mechanisms underlying users’ behavior remain unclear. This study proposed an extended TPB model and recruited 334 participants from diverse professions and geographic locations in China to examine the influence of internal and external factors on users’ orderly parking behavior. It was shown that personal moral norms have a significant direct influence on users’ attitudes toward orderly parking and thus influence the behavioral intention of orderly parking. Users’ perception of parking facilities has significant influence on users’ perceived behavior control and intention of orderly parking. This study indicates that cultivation of users’ moral obligation can help improve users’ intention of orderly parking. Furthermore, governments and DBS companies should work together to provide sufficient parking facilities to DBS users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems Practice in Social Science)
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4 pages, 179 KiB  
Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Systems in 2021
by Systems Editorial Office
Systems 2022, 10(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010010 - 29 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1584
Abstract
Rigorous peer-reviews are the basis of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
18 pages, 428 KiB  
Article
On the External Positivity of SISO Linear Dynamic Systems under a Class of Nonzero and Possibly Negative Initial Conditions Eventually Subject to Incommensurate Point Internal and External Delays
by Manuel De la Sen
Systems 2022, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010009 - 25 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1908
Abstract
The property of external positivity of dynamic systems is commonly defined as the non-negativity of the output for all time under zero initial conditions and any given non-negative input for all time. This paper investigates the extension of that property for a structured [...] Read more.
The property of external positivity of dynamic systems is commonly defined as the non-negativity of the output for all time under zero initial conditions and any given non-negative input for all time. This paper investigates the extension of that property for a structured class of initial conditions of a single-input single-output (SISO) linear dynamic system which can include, in general, certain negative initial conditions. The above class of initial conditions is characterized analytically based on the structure of the transfer function. The basic study is performed in the delay-free case, but extensions are then given for systems subject to a finite number of internal and external, in general incommensurate, point delays and for the closed-loop dynamic systems which incorporate a feedback compensator. The formulation relies on calculating the output based on the impulse responses by considering the relation of the mentioned sets of structured initial conditions with the zero-state response which allows to keep the non-negativity of the zero-input response and that of the total response provided the non-negativity for all time of the zero-state response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems Engineering)
14 pages, 626 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Farmers’ Socio-Economic Characteristics on Their Choice of Opinion Leaders: Social Knowledge Systems
by Nthabeleng Tamako, Joyce Chitja and Maxwell Mudhara
Systems 2022, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010008 - 6 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3122
Abstract
Smallholder farmers’ social knowledge systems are evolving in connecting key actors within and outside their knowledge systems. These key actors play a vital role in navigating the complexity and the dynamics of organisations, and effectively influence the community. This study identified the opinion [...] Read more.
Smallholder farmers’ social knowledge systems are evolving in connecting key actors within and outside their knowledge systems. These key actors play a vital role in navigating the complexity and the dynamics of organisations, and effectively influence the community. This study identified the opinion leaders of smallholder farmers and measured the extent of their influence on the quality of these farmers’ knowledge of agriculture. Furthermore, the study explored the reasons why farmers choose their opinion leaders. A structured questionnaire was administered to 219 purposively selected smallholder farmers in the rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Data were captured and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 26 and STATA to run multinomial logistic regression model (MNL). The results showed that farmers participated in field visits and attended farmers’ group meetings to communicate with agricultural advisors and group leaders. In addition, the findings showed that interactions could be a crucial element of knowledge and learning for farmers. This showed that the farmers required a consistent flow of material resources and knowledge. The time and energy spent by farmers building social relationships with these opinion leaders reflected the accumulation of information and resources gathered. Issues related to accessibility, availability and, quick feedback regarding farmers’ problems emerged, which seemed to influence the farmers’ choice of an opinion leader. The language and accessibility to sources of knowledge and feedback were crucial to the smallholder farmers included in the study. Furthermore, the results revealed that farmers’ educational level, farmers who engaged in agriculture for household consumption, and opinion agricultural skills have statistical significance on farmers’ choice of opinion leaders. Considering the findings, it is suggested that efforts to improve farmers’ active knowledge systems and access to the opinion leaders within these active knowledge systems should take into consideration the socio-economic factors that influence farmers’ choices and participation in social systems and social interactions. These findings may help agents develop a better understanding of the dynamics of local communities and the social complexity that shapes farmers’ environments and decisions. To be a progressive and effective opinion leader, constant, continuous assessment is needed to increase leadership skills. In addition, the enhancement of programmes, which will recognise the active opinion leaders within the communities, are needed to strengthen the efforts and impact for more resilient outcomes. Full article
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23 pages, 2485 KiB  
Article
The Substrate-Independence Theory: Advancing Constructor Theory to Scaffold Substrate Attributes for the Recursive Interaction between Knowledge and Information
by John Turner, Dave Snowden and Nigel Thurlow
Systems 2022, 10(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010007 - 5 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 55451
Abstract
The substrate-independence theory utilizes sensemaking techniques to provide cognitively based scaffolds that guide and structure learning. Scaffolds are cognitive abstractions of constraints that relate to information within a system. The substrate-independence theory concentrates on the flow of information as the underlying property of [...] Read more.
The substrate-independence theory utilizes sensemaking techniques to provide cognitively based scaffolds that guide and structure learning. Scaffolds are cognitive abstractions of constraints that relate to information within a system. The substrate-independence theory concentrates on the flow of information as the underlying property of the host system. The substrate-independence theory views social systems as complex adaptive systems capable of repurposing their structure to combat external threats by utilizing constructors and substrates. Constructor theory is used to identify potential construction tasks, the legitimate input and output states that are possible, to map the desired change in the substrate’s attributes. Construction tasks can be mapped in advance for ordered and known environments. Construction tasks may also be mapped in either real-time or post hoc for unordered and complex environments using current sensemaking techniques. Mapping of the construction tasks in real-time becomes part of the landscape, and scaffolds are implemented to aid in achieving the desired state or move to a more manageable environment (e.g., from complex to complicated). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems Practice in Social Science)
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26 pages, 1541 KiB  
Article
Charging Station Planning for Electric Vehicles
by Arun Kumar Kalakanti and Shrisha Rao
Systems 2022, 10(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010006 - 2 Jan 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4939
Abstract
Charging station (CS) planning for electric vehicles (EVs) for a region has become an important concern for urban planners and the public alike to improve the adoption of EVs. Two major problems comprising this research area are: (i) the EV charging station placement [...] Read more.
Charging station (CS) planning for electric vehicles (EVs) for a region has become an important concern for urban planners and the public alike to improve the adoption of EVs. Two major problems comprising this research area are: (i) the EV charging station placement (EVCSP) problem, and (ii) the CS need estimation problem for a region. In this work, different explainable solutions based on machine learning (ML) and simulation were investigated by incorporating quantitative and qualitative metrics. The solutions were compared with traditional approaches using a real CS area of Austin and a greenfield area of Bengaluru. For EVCSP, a different class of clustering solutions, i.e., mean-based, density-based, spectrum- or eigenvalues-based, and Gaussian distribution were evaluated. Different perspectives, such as the urban planner perspective, i.e., the clustering efficiency, and the EV owner perspective, i.e., an acceptable distance to the nearest CS, were considered. For the CS need estimation, ML solutions based on quadratic regression and simulations were evaluated. Using our CS planning methods urban planners can make better CS placement decisions and can estimate CS needs for the present and the future. Full article
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12 pages, 4837 KiB  
Article
Stability Assessment of Rock Mass System under Multiple Adjacent Structures
by Bo Sung Kim and Joon Kyu Lee
Systems 2022, 10(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010005 - 1 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2042
Abstract
Numerical modeling is important for exploring the fundamental processes occurring in rock and for evaluating the real performance of structures built on and in rock mass system, and thus for supporting the design of rock engineering problems. Estimating the stability of rock mass [...] Read more.
Numerical modeling is important for exploring the fundamental processes occurring in rock and for evaluating the real performance of structures built on and in rock mass system, and thus for supporting the design of rock engineering problems. Estimating the stability of rock mass foundation systems entirely based on a theoretical approach is a complicated task if there exists overlapping of their potential collapse modes. This paper applies finite element limit analysis to evaluate the bearing capacity of equally spaced multiple strip footings resting on rock mass obeying the modified non-linear Hoek–Brown failure criterion. Numerical solutions are expressed in terms of the efficiency factor that is dependent on the spacing between footings, as well as the rock mass properties. In addition, the effects of surface surcharge and footing roughness are quantified. The maximum spacing at which the interfering effect of adjacent footings becomes disappeared is evaluated and an algebraic expression for approximating the maximum spacing is proposed. Failure mechanisms for a few cases of rock mass under multiple strip footings are examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Systems Engineering)
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16 pages, 3443 KiB  
Article
Design of an IoT System for the Palletized Distribution Supply Chain with Model-Based Systems Engineering Tools
by Nicolas Navarro, Laszlo Horvath and Alejandro Salado
Systems 2022, 10(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010004 - 30 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3001
Abstract
In recent years, Internet-of-Things technology (IoT) has been the subject of research in diverse fields of applications. IoT plays an essential role in transitioning enterprises towards a more interconnected paradigm of manufacturing, logistics, services, and business, known as Industry 4.0. This paper presents [...] Read more.
In recent years, Internet-of-Things technology (IoT) has been the subject of research in diverse fields of applications. IoT plays an essential role in transitioning enterprises towards a more interconnected paradigm of manufacturing, logistics, services, and business, known as Industry 4.0. This paper presents an operational concept for a system that implements IoT technology in pallets, which are used to move products along supply chains. These sensors will help us gain insight into the conditions experienced by products and unit loads. Having this capability will allow us to obtain the information necessary for better control of product distribution along the supply chain, and to design packaging that is more efficient and effective in protecting products during distribution. In this paper, we show how Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) can be leveraged to create models that capture the required system behaviors, and we address the complexity of an IoT system within the domain of packaging and logistics applications. Full article
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16 pages, 1376 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Perceived Interactivity and Intrinsic Value on Users’ Continuance Intention in Using Mobile Augmented Reality Virtual Shoe-Try-On Function
by Qianling Jiang, Jie Sun, Chun Yang and Chao Gu
Systems 2022, 10(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010003 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 6770
Abstract
In response to the rapid growth of mobile Internet, online retailers have created better shopping experiences through new technologies. These shopping experiences are the product of the new interaction methods created by new technologies and the intrinsic value of these technologies. To achieve [...] Read more.
In response to the rapid growth of mobile Internet, online retailers have created better shopping experiences through new technologies. These shopping experiences are the product of the new interaction methods created by new technologies and the intrinsic value of these technologies. To achieve a better understanding of how new technologies improve consumers’ intention to use them continuously, this study established a theoretical model of how consumers’ perceived interactivity affects intrinsic value, which then affects attitudes, and ultimately contributes to the theoretical model. Within the perceived interactivity construct, there is perceived control, personalization and responsiveness, and as part of the intrinsic value construct there is playfulness and aesthetics. The results demonstrate that intrinsic value and perceived interactivity play important roles in predicting consumers’ attitudes and continuance intention to use new technologies applied to mobile e-commerce, but do not include perceived control in perceived interactivity. To highlight the results of this study, relevant enterprises or practitioners may use the findings to design or improve the features of existing mobile apps to provide better services and experiences to consumers based on their internal perceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multimedia Systems)
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17 pages, 2319 KiB  
Article
An Equifinality Energy Management Framework in Terms of Benchmarking Practices and Expectations: The EnerMan Project Outlook
by Panagiotis Katrakazas, Marco Costantino, Federico Magnea, Liam Moore, Abdelgafar Ismail, Eleftherios Bourithis, Hasan Basri Taşkın, Zeynep Tutku Özen, İlyas Artunç Sarı, Katerina Pissaridi, Johann Bachler, Stefan Polic, Giulia Pippione, Roberto Paoletti, Rosa di Falco and Fabio Ferrario
Systems 2022, 10(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010002 - 24 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3456
Abstract
Background: The Industry 4.0 wave is leading the changes in existing manufacturing and industrial processes across the world. This is especially important in the formulation of the smart-factory concept with an outlook to energy sustainable processes. In viewing and identifying the foundational elements [...] Read more.
Background: The Industry 4.0 wave is leading the changes in existing manufacturing and industrial processes across the world. This is especially important in the formulation of the smart-factory concept with an outlook to energy sustainable processes. In viewing and identifying the foundational elements of such a transformation, the initial conditions and current practices in a cross-sectoral manner is considered a first, yet crucial step in the EU-funded project EnerMan. Methods: In this paper, we identify and analyse the key common features and characteristics of industrial practices set in a perspective of similar and identical functions with a focus to three key energy areas: sustainability, management, and footprint. The examination of different industrial sector cases is performed via distributed questionnaires and then viewed under the prism of the equifinality state via a text-mining analysis approach. Results: identification of common themes and benchmarking of current practices in a cross-industry manner led to the creation of a common systemic framework within energy management related aspects, which is hereby presented. Conclusions: use of an equifinality approach in energy management practices should be further pursued to open up new methods of ideation and innovation and communicate systems’ design in tandem with each industrial set goals. Full article
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20 pages, 11629 KiB  
Article
An Assessment Framework for the Transformation of Mobility 4.0 in Smart Cities
by Hakan Inac and Ercan Oztemel
Systems 2022, 10(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/systems10010001 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3913
Abstract
Investing in digital transformation turns out to be a strategic action to tackle contemporary issues and to improve competitiveness for enterprises. The high variability of options in the digital transformation process enforces a higher complexity level in configuring and setting up objectives and [...] Read more.
Investing in digital transformation turns out to be a strategic action to tackle contemporary issues and to improve competitiveness for enterprises. The high variability of options in the digital transformation process enforces a higher complexity level in configuring and setting up objectives and goals based on cities’ needs; hence, a systematic approach is required to assist decision makers for better and sustainable transformation. A reference model is described in this paper to support decision makers with comprehensive assessment data for digital transformation cities transport. The proposed reference model assesses the cities based on digital transformation of transport services to assist policy makers for better decisions in transforming the Mobility 4.0. The proposed model in this study functions as a knowledge-based systematic framework for assessing the capabilities of the cities, diagnosing their needs under given circumstances and identifying the best fitting workflow for digital transformation of urban transportation systems and related services. The reference model takes on board a group of smart city indices with respective assessment criteria in determining a smartness level of transportation components. A conceptual 4-tier smartness scale has been proposed to establish a consistent assessment subject to cities circumstances in many respects. The reference model has been formalised into a mathematical model to characterise the assessments. The mathematical model encompasses strategic assessments by experts to identify priorities of investments in the digitalization process, which are aligned with strategic goals and policies of cities’ management. Full article
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