Architected Futures™

Tools and strategies ... for boiling the ocean

Application to The World as a System

Submitted by joe.vansteen on Sun, 12/11/2016 - 23:42

The following is an outline for a potential deeper discussion using the Architected Futures methodology to help refine the EATS tool suite toward an architecture and facility set which helps better address a selected issue set. If you would like to read more, tell me. Also, it would help to know:

  1. Special interest content using one or more references to subject matter categories used on this site.
  2. The context level you are interested in (conceptual, logical, technical, operational, etc.)
  3. The who/what/why/when/where/how variables you want exposed

For example: How would this work or be applied in a community (farming, city, resort?) facing rising water levels (as in Florida, or as in Maine?) driven by the rise in sea levels currently occurring due to climate change?

Note, the outline used below is arbitrary, the groups were my own invention when I originally conceived the idea of the post. Feel free to expand. This is usually the situation for most posts to discuss applications to specific problem sets. The "focus" of the current outline was derived from a discussion concerning the current state of the global civilization given such problems as climate change, population explosion, political discourse, terrorism, economics, etc. Fundamentally, there is a common architecture process to work through the problem set and discuss design alternatives and options.

The high level view of what's happening here is that someone is coming in with a problem specification, and we are adapting and tailoring the EATS tool suite to help arrive at a solution. It's not magic. There's a lot of work involved. If nothing else, sometimes your head might hurt. (Actually, that may happen a lot at first.) But what comes out is a control plan to create a maintainable solution that has a high likelihood of being achievable and functional for the duration expressed in your specifications. In this case (i.e., when dealing with global issues and concerns), duration is defaulted to "the indefinite future," as in, forever.

Extreme Problems




Systems Thinking



Ref the STW discussion on Civilization Dashboard

  • What is sustainability?
    • The ability to sustain an entity in a trajectory on an indefinite basis such that its life arc might be able to continue to the point of a graceful conclusion, or indefinitely, as is appropriate for the element.
    • Management of the element/entity as a unit such that this becomes the central core of planning for the life of the element, or forever, as appropriate
  • The entity in question here is presumed, by at least me, to be "civilized human society" ... however you define "civilized" and "society." I assume we can buy into a "close enough" version of a definition of "human."

Model Outline

A global model will be created, representing a baseline for application of the techniques and tools described on this site to global issues affecting humanity.

  • The mathematical core of the core model is based on the Forrester and Meadows "World" models. This provides a calibration baseline for any extrapolations of trends as projection hypotheses are made relative to alternative future scenarios. Baseline statistical data sources reflecting up-to-date factual (estimates?) will need to be specified. Data sources need to be reliable as consistent sources of facts from a consistent point-view and data collection methodology, over time, to be able to provide a consistent basis for evaluations. "Current" measurements need regular updates to stay "fresh" in order to provide the basis for the most accurate forecasts. (Like predicting the weather, which happens to be part of the process, in order to incorporate effects from climate change, no matter who may have caused it.)
  • The core model will be expanded to integrate and incorporated features, including but not limited to those described or identified below:
    • according to the scheme envisioned and discussed by (see Model Reports for appropriate references) for extension of the Meadows model
    • 2052 - A Global Forecast
    • VSM references
    • Specification of an extensive set of "models" and "analysis" patterns that will be able to be applied and used as a form of pattern overlay mechanism for integrating fundamental granular models into comprehensive complex models that represent and define extreme problems.
    • Leverage of existing models defined as reusable patterns as provided as specifications by Hartmut Bossel in his System Zoo collection. Leverage of similar models from resources such as Insight Maker and other repositories
    • Incorporation by reference, or by dynamic integration, model elements and relationships that can be obtained from open access data banks, such as DBPedia, Ontology libraries, government statistics and other reference libraries, etc. (See EATS conceptual maps.)


  • The dashboard hypothetically should be an example of a feedback control mechanism for civilization such that this is the basis for management. Otherwise, what is the point.
  • The dashboard needs to be viewed in the context that it is a feedback control mechanism
  1. Measures of society in terms of its "sustainability" are the inputs to the dashboard system
  2. The system needs to evaluate these trajectory measures and compute expectations of "sustainability"
    • Part so the mechanism include modeling and forecasting
  3. These measures are then input to a "course correction" mechanism for course adjustment
    • Course correction diagnoses varies based on the recursion level of the modeled system
    • Diversity is a primary objective, so course correction is neither mandatory or imposed. Neither is it centrally controlled. Unanticipated effects will be integrated into feedback systems for evaluation as new variables, or aberrations of existing concepts.
    • Course correction is fundamentally managed by independent "regulatory systems" at various recursion levels. (National and local governments, corporate governing bodies, etc.)
    • Results of the course correction mechanism affect the trajectory
  4. The process loops

Every viewpoint is capable of the same calibrated measurement. Even outliers are offered "best opportunity for your personal objects" quality measurment knowledge.

Visual suggestions for dashboard gauges include:

  • Cascaded alignment arrows that show contribution of components into overall measure of state of desired focal alignment on objectives relative to current state of affairs. Identifies quicky for highlight who/what/where/when/how/why of catalysts and inhibitors of progress on specified desired vector achievement toward goals.
  • Maturity curves showing where elements are in terms of designed life expectancy, and repair or disposal plan preparedness.
  • Stress and Strain curves defining current state of operations relative to defined "safe" operating conditions.
  • Satisfaction effectiveness measures for: the methodogy, the tools in the tool suite and the "world's" reliability, utility, functional completeness, architectural delight.

Integration Path

  • Issues need to be pattern matched against the existing vocabulary of the system. In most cases the easiest and fastest way to ingrate is to due a structured migration of an existing knowledgebase, and to map it to the existing vocabulary. Then, EATS can adopt the old vocabulary as a traslated body of knowledge which can still also be referenced in its original form. The key product is a descriptive ontology of meaning for the data content to be referenced. This can be adopted in EATS as an ontology specific to the domains impacted by the issue. This provides an immediate basis for integration into documentation and argumentation collaborative environments.
  • COIs and COPS are formed, or issues are adopted by existing communities. 

Connection to Architected Futures

· forms technology to provide two (or more) essential tools

1.       The ability to generate and maintain an "operating manual" for the system entity being managed, at each investigated recursion level

2.       The ability to audit knowledge and awareness of state and rules for each component unit

3.       The ability to assist in model generation, management and execution at each level and for each unit

4.       The ability to develop and reconcile the model on a controlled evolutionary basis, with audit ability and ease of integration analysis of the components over time

5.       EATS might be a mechanism for the data aggregation and warehousing for the dashboard

·         For example

1.       The EATS schema can provide definition and  execution of a SD model at the global level

2.       The Components of the global model include models of industries

3.       Industry models define how the industry works in terms of the global model

4.       They also provide an abstract formulation of how any operational unit in the industry must act one a singular basis

5.       These provide high level general models for the modeling of any particular industry entity

6.       Specific individual entities inherit these models and implement their own strategies and behaviors (see EATS metamodel)

·         The concept of "architecture" and "architecture management" are related to understanding the critical aspects of how the "system" works at each level, and from each view such that there is understanding of what is "configurable" and how that configuration might impact or influence

1.       The desired change in the system

2.       Changes in related systems

·         Over time, as more elements and systems are included in the "encyclopedia" (system knowledgebase), the pieces grow in power because

1.       The more vertical systems included which are reconciled to each other, the stronger knowledge and reliability of the component (subsystems) in the model.

2.       The more comprehensive (horizontal) coverage of systems included which are reconciled to each other, the stronger the validation of the overall understanding of the totality of the knowledgebase regarding the upper level system being modeled

3.       The more validated information, the more analytical power of the model at each level

EATS is augmented intelligence. The more the human users use it, the more useful it becomes, even if the uses do not appear to be related. There are almost ALWAYS unseen relationships in play, they provide a (free) "supercharge" or increase in confidence, or exposure and awareness of previously unseen potential difficulty to all of the other projects in the system. Even private or "secret" projects have this bidirectional cross benefit because the benefit transfer is happening at a meta level within the system and no security or secrecy factors inhibit the transfer.

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