Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A structured methodology for unifying functional analysis with systems analysis to enhance system behavior knowledge
by Clendening, Randall James, D.Sc., The George Washington University, 2009, 148; 3341357
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this dissertation or study is to present a unified and structured methodology to conduct system functional analyses. It is my thesis, supported by my experience and literature review conducted for this research, that there is a fairly large body of knowledge on what is functional analysis and what the outputs are, but not much about how to proceed with conducting functional analysis. The primary purpose of this study is to develop a methodology or process for conducting functional analysis within the greater systems engineering family of processes. The first goal of this study is to develop a methodology that bridges the how-to-do gap between classical functional analysis and system analysis. The second goal of this study is to develop a methodology that also bridges the gap between the requirements management and the synthesis processes within the IEEE 1220 systems engineering model. The third goal of the study is to develop a methodology that operates on shared tacit knowledge rather than explicit documented knowledge. The experiences of Hurricane Katrina are generally still fresh in our minds. There have been a lot of lessons learned discussions in the general literature but rather little structural or academic analysis as to how we can do better in the future. This paper presents a structured methodology for ferreting out the key issues and driving out the needed technical answers decision makers need to be effective in planning for natural disasters. We then apply the methodology to solving some the issues associated with natural disaster planning and execution. Systems engineering and functional analysis is well entrenched in original manufacturing equipment (OEM) industries such as aircraft and spacecraft, but the discipline has not expanded into newer endeavors that could use the talents and tools that system engineers can bring to bear on a problem. The methodology presented in this paper will give systems engineers the confidence to pursue issues outside of the current norm and expand systems engineering techniques into new fields of endeavor. The methodology uses proven techniques to add a structured flow for completing the functional analysis process that is based on building a body of knowledge around a problem or set of issues. This body of knowledge can then be used to complete a functional architecture or be used as information for further analysis leading to Enhanced Functional Flow Block Diagrams (EFFBD) and Integration Definition for Function Modeling (IDEF0) diagrams for modeling the architectures for even greater insight into system behaviors. The methodology also takes some of the mystery out of how one would actually perform a functional analysis in non-traditional endeavors.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sarkani, Shahram, Mazzuchi, Thomas A.
Commitee: Eveleigh, Timothy J.
School: The George Washington University
Department: Engineering Mgt and Systems Engineering
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-B 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Systems science
Keywords: Functional analysis, Systems analysis, Systems engineering
Publication Number: 3341357
ISBN: 9780549963806
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