Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 19 Number 4 2003 pp. 85-128

Modeling and Simulation for Mission Operations Work System Design

Sierhuis, Maarten, Clancey, William J, Chin, Seah, Trimble, Jay P, and Sims, Michael H

ABSTRACT: Work system analysis and design is complex and nondeterministic. In this paper we describe Brahms, a multiagent modeling and simulation environment for designing complex interactions in human-machine systems. Brahms was originally conceived as a business process design tool that simulates work practices, including social systems of work. We describe our modeling and simulation method for mission operations work systems design, based on a research case study in which we used Brahms to design mission operations for a proposed discovery mission to the Moon. We then describe the results of an actual method application project--the Brahms Mars Exploration Rover. Space mission operations are similar to operations of traditional organizations; we show that the application of Brahms for space mission operations design is relevant and transferable to other types of business processes in organizations.

Key words and phrases: agent languages, business process modeling, mission operations design, multiagent simulation, work practices