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Organized by:
Missouri University of
Science & Technology

Systems Engineering Graduate Program
Smart Engineering Systems Laboratory
600 W. 14th St.
Rolla, MO 65409-0370
Phone: 573-341-6576
Email: complexsystems@mst.edu

2016 Conference Plenary Speakers

Click name below photo for speaker's biography/presentation information.

Joshua Baron David
Charlie Dagli Marija Jankovic Anna McGowan    Fei-Yue Wang        
RAND Corporation George
MIT CentraleSuplélec NASA   Chinese Academy
of Sciences


  Joshua Baron, PhD
Information Scientist
RAND Corporation
    National Security Implications of Virtual Currencies: The Case of Non-State Actor Deployment
Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Afternoon Plenary, 12:00 - 1:30 pm


Unintended damage to non-military targets is typically straightforward to characterize and weigh against anticipated benefits because of well-established definitions, technical assessments, and legal conventions. In a kinetic military context, collateral damage occurs when a hostile action causes physical or property damage to a civilian target. However, collateral effects caused by cyber operations lack formal recognition when they are limited to electronic data, information technology and computing systems, whether caused by conventional military operations, or the result of law enforcement, or private sector operations. Even though there may be tangible consequences stemming from the loss or destruction of data, conventional norms are ill equipped to formally recognize them. Uniquely in the cybersecurity context, tactical operations may have broad systemic "collateral" effects on other important policy priorities that must be accounted for. In short, we lack a clear conceptual vocabulary for cyber operations for both the military operations, as well as for non-military operations, where many cyber activities occur. This research examines this discontinuity by first examining conventional military definitions of "cyber operations," "collateral damage" and international norms governing operations conducted by lawful participants against military targets. It then introduces other contexts for considering collateral damage in the cyber realm.


Joshua Baron is an information scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His work focuses on policy implications of emerging technologies for cybersecurity, computer network operations, virtual currencies, and cryptography. Before coming to RAND, Baron researched efficient protocols for secure multi-party computation (MPC) for national security and industry applications. Baron received a Ph.D. in mathematics from UCLA in 2012 and a B.A. in mathematics from UC Berkeley in 2006.

  David Broniatowski, PhD
Assistant Professor of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
George Washington University

Two Synergtistic Strategies for Coping with Complexity in Engineered Systems
Wednesday, November 2, 2016,. Morning Plenary, 9:00 - 10:00 am



Recent advances in the field of system architecture relate to complex adaptive systems including an increasing emphasis on multi-level modeling (under the rubric of model-based systems engineering), the relationship between structure and behavior, and the role of narrative and perception in systems design.  This talk will provide an overview of these advances, with a specific focus on the relationship between a system’s architecture and its lifecycle properties, such as its flexibility, descriptive complexity, and potential for rework. Findings suggest that no architecture is ideal under all circumstances; rather, each has strengths and weaknesses that can be exploited in different environments.  Thus, specific attention is given to tree- and layered hierarchies, which emphasize decomposition and abstraction respectively. System decomposition, emphasizes a one-to-one mapping between form and function, as in modular designs.  In contrast, abstraction decouples form from function, enabling a many-to-many mapping, as in layered designs.  These approaches need not be mutually exclusive; rather, they can be synergistic.  These claims are examined using simulated intermodal freight shipping networks.  Results show that systems relying on decomposition are especially sensitive to disruptions. In contrast, systems relying on abstraction are less sensitive to disruption as long as rates of change in the environment are low; however, they are also less able to respond to unmet demand. Given enough resources, systems using both approaches can respond both to disruptions and unmet demand. Implications for the design and modification of large-scale complex adaptive systems are discussed.



Director of the Decision Making and Systems Architecture Laboratory, conducts research in decision making under risk, group decision making, system architecture, and behavioral epidemiology. This research program draws upon a wide range of techniques including formal mathematical modeling, experimental design, automated text analysis and natural language processing, social and technical network analysis, and big data. Current projects include a text network analysis of transcripts from the US Food and Drug Administration's Circulatory Systems Advisory Panel meetings, a mathematical formalization of Fuzzy Trace Theory -- a leading theory of decision-making under risk, derivation of metrics for flexibility and controllability for complex engineered socio-technical systems, and using Twitter data to conduct surveillance of influenza infection and the resulting social response.


  Charlie Dagli, PhD
Research Staff
Lincoln Laboratory, MIT
    Joint Audio-Visual Mining of Uncooperatively Collected Video
Thursday, November 3, 2016. Luncheon Plenary, 11:30 - 1:00 pm


Dr. Charlie K. Dagli has been a member of the research staff in the Human Language Technology Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory since January 2010. His primary research interests are in the areas of multimedia understanding, machine learning, and network analysis.

Prior to joining Lincoln Laboratory, he held positions at Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Ricoh Innovations, and State Farm Corporate Research. He was the recipient of the Best Student Paper award at the 2006 ACM International Conference on Image and Video Retrieval and holds three patents for technologies in computer vision and multimedia analysis.

Dr. Dagli received the BS degree from Boston University in 2001, and the MS and PhD degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2003 and 2009, all in electrical and computer engineering.



  Marija Jankovic, PhD
Associate Professor
    Decision Making in Complex System Architecture Design: Issues and Challenges
Friday, November 4, 2016. Morning Plenary, 9:00 - 10:00 am


In complex system design, system architecture design process is a critical process determining overall system costs as well as deployment. Many of the decisions in early stages are part of the system architecture design. Even though there are standards addressing the scope of this process, this process is not well understood by the academic literature nor supported by adapted methods and tools. The focus will be on different types of system architectures and its impact on related decision making processes as well as several industry grounded studies highlighting specificities of this process with regard to different contexts. Discussions will also underline current difficulties and potential future academic and industrial needs.


Dr. Marija Jankovic is an Associate Professor at CentraleSupélec. Her main domain of interest concern developing a decision support framework for early design stages in complex system design. She has particularly developed approaches for system architecture design.

She is a regular reviewer for several major journals as Journal of Mechanical Design, Journal of Engineering Design, Artificial Intelligence in Engineering Design, Concurrent Engineering, Research in Engineering design, etc. She is also authors of more than 60 peer-review papers. She has coordinated several research projects in collaboration with major French and international companies: Snecma, Thales, EADS, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Schlumberger, etc. She is also Co-pilot of Research and Innovation Technical Committee of INCOSE French Chapter and member of Scientific Committee of IRT SystemX (French National Institute of System Sciences).


  Anna-Maria Rivas McGowan, PhD
Agency Senior Engineer for Complex Systems Design
    Large-Scale Complex Systems
Thursday, November 3, 2016. Banquet speaker, 7:00 - 9:30 pm


Large-­‐Scale Complex Engineered Systems (LaCES) are used by billions of people around the world each day. These systems include aerospace (e.g., aircraft, space systems); large maritime (e.g., submarines, aircraft carriers); nuclear (e.g., power plants); and major civil infrastructure systems (e.g., water supply systems, electric power grids, healthcare systems, and air and ground transportation systems).

LaCES present several unique challenges including extraordinary costs and risks, the inability to fully test and evaluate the complete system until it is nearly operational, and a significant magnitude of inherent couplings between engineering and non-­‐engineering disciplines and components. The considerations beyond engineering are extensive: economics, policy, urban planning, education, culture, and many others. Thus, the design and development of very large complex systems are regularly prone to crippling time and cost overruns, largely due to the unintended consequences arising from unknown or unexpected interactions. The methods, processes, and tools used by practitioners have not kept pace with the growing complexity of LaCES.

Challenges and complexities exist in creating the engineered system as well as in working with the large, geographically-­‐dispersed organizational system required to complete the system design and development.   When complete, LaCES rest on the ingenuity of thousands of engineers and scientists whose work is proximate in neither space nor time. The system design is at a scale that is too grand for any one person or small team to fully comprehend.   The effective “designer” of a large-­‐scale, complex engineered system is a dispersed team of thousands that never completely convenes.   Indeed, a complex (human, organizational, political, etc.) system is now required in order to design and produce a complex engineered system.

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges and opportunities of advancing the design and development of LaCES is in integrating the contributions of an extremely broad and diverse number of disciplines from the natural and social sciences. A theoretically-­‐rigorous interdisciplinary design and development approach enables the co-­‐construction of new knowledge unobtainable from a single perspective, and creates a platform wherein the collective wisdom of diverse disciplines can mitigate unintended consequences arising from unknown or unanticipated interactions.

Though designing at large-­‐scale is met with great challenge, it also presents a great opportunity to have lasting and highly positive societal impact. Innovative complex system design in large-­‐scale can have transformative impacts as we better harness the collective wisdom of the large-­‐scale and diversely trained human system the design relies upon and as we thoughtfully consider the large-­‐scale and diverse needs of the human system that the design serves.


Dr. Anna-Maria McGowan is a NASA Technical Fellow serving as the Agency Senior Engineer for Complex Systems Design. Dr. McGowan’s research and agency leadership focus on interdisciplinary methodologies for designing and engineering systems with multi-faceted complexities. She incorporates seminal research in non-traditional fields that have the potential for high impact when integrated with engineering approaches to improve aerospace system performance, efficiency, and broader, nonaerospace impacts.

Dr. McGowan has over 24 years experience in aerospace research and leadership, conducting research and managing several large projects in diverse areas including design science, adaptive structures and materials, flow control, aeroservoelasticity, and organization science. Based at the NASA Langley Research Center, Dr. McGowan has served as a NASA senior project manager, DARPA Agent, NSF visiting scientist, NATO consultant, short course instructor, flight test leader, wind-tunnel test engineer, senior researcher, and NASA spokesperson. Her career has focused on advancing innovation across disciplines including the social sciences and has incorporated both military and commercial aerospace vehicles.

Dr. McGowan’s prior positions include: 1) Leading transformative, entrepreneurial approaches as the Project Manager of NASA’s Convergent Aeronautics Solutions (CAS) Project; 2) Fostering interdisciplinary research as the Technology Integration Manager for NASA’s Subsonic Fixed Wing Project; 2) Leading a successful, high risk RPV flight test program, serving as the DARPA Agent and NASA Principal Investigator for DARPA’s Morphing Aircraft Structures Phase III program (concept to flight in 2 years); 3) Serving as the Acting Deputy Director for Aerospace Vehicle Systems Program Office, assuming responsibility for the $650M program budget; and 4) Conceiving and managing NASA’s Morphing Project of the 21st Century for over 4 years.

Dr. McGowan has a B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University, an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Old Dominion University, and a Ph.D. in Design Science in Engineering from the University of Michigan. Dr. McGowan has taught short courses and presented guest lectures in several countries, and served as a consultant to national laboratories, major industries, and government agencies across the US. Dr. McGowan is an AIAA Associate Fellow and received the AIAA Sperry Award; alumni awards from Purdue University, Old Dominion University, and the University of Michigan; and the National Women of Color Technical Innovation in Government Award. She has also earned numerous NASA individual and group achievement awards, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal. In her spare time, Dr. McGowan is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys wilderness camping and sea kayaking. Her travels often take her to Trinidad in the Caribbean where her family and culture originate.





  Fei-Yue Wang, PhD
Research Scientist and Director
The State Key Laboratory for Management and Control of Complex Systems
Chinese Academy of Sciences
    ACP-Based Parallel Systems: Knowledge Automation and Smart Adaptability for Complex Adaptive Systems
Thursday, November 3, 2016. Morning Plenary, 8:30 - 9:30 am.


This presentation will review the research and development of ACP-based Parallel Systems for intelligent control and smart management of complex systems over the last decade, from theoretical framework to real-world applications. The ACP approach is mainly consist of three steps, i.e., artificial societies and software-defined systems for modeling and representation, computational experiments for analysis and evaluation, and parallel execution through virtual-actual interaction for feedback-based operation and monitoring. It provides a mechanism for achieving knowledge automation and smart adaptability and making complex systems agile, focusing, and convergence in dealing with uncertainty, diversity, and complexity. Applications of ACP-based parallel systems for transportation, management, intelligence, command and control, and agricultural and medical problems will be illustrated and discussed. 


Dr.Wang received his Ph.D. in Computer and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York in 1990. Dr. Wang has been a researcher, educator, and practitioner of intelligent and complex systems for more than 30 years. He joined the University of Arizona in 1990 and became a Professor and Director of the Robotics and Automation Lab (RAL) and Program in Advanced Research for Complex Systems (PARCS). In 1999, he founded the Intelligent Control and Systems Engineering Center at the Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing, China, under the support of the Outstanding Oversea Chinese Talents Program from the State Planning Council and “100 Talent Program” from CAS, and in 2002, was appointed as the Director of the Key Lab of Complex Systems and Intelligence Science, CAS. From 2006 to 2010, he was Vice President for research, education, and academic exchanges at the Institute of Automation, CAS. Since 2005, he has been the Dean of the School of Software Engineering at Xi’an Jiaotong University. In 2011, he became the State Specially Appointed Expert and the Director of the State Key Laboratory of Management and Control for Complex Systems.

Dr.Wang has published extensively in modeling, analysis, control and management of complex systems. His current research is focused in methods and applications for parallel systems, social computing, and knowledge automation. He was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Intelligent Control and Systems from 1995 to 2000, the Series on Intelligent Control and Intelligent Automation from 1996 to 2004, and IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems from 2006 to 2008, and the EiC of IEEE Intelligent Systems from 2009 to 2012. Currently, he is the EiC of IEEE Transactions on ITS. Since 1997, he has served as General or Program Chair of more than 20 IEEE, INFORMS, ACM, ASME conferences. He was the President of IEEE ITS Society from 2005 to 2007, Chinese Association for Science and Technology (CAST, USA) in 2005, and the American Zhu Kezhen Education Foundation from 2007-2008. Since 2008, he is the Vice President and Secretary General of Chinese Association of Automation.

Dr. Wang is member of Sigma Xi and an elected Fellow of IEEE, INCOSE, IFAC, ASME, and AAAS. In 2007, he received the 2nd Class National Prize in Natural Sciences of China and awarded the Outstanding Scientist by ACM for his work in intelligent control and social computing. He received IEEE ITS Outstanding Application and Research Awards in 2009 and 2011, respectively. In 2014, Dr. Wang received the IEEE SMC Society Norbert Wiener Award.