Complex Networks and Design: How the linked view changes products,
processes and organizations
Important Dates
May 27 Submissions due
June 10 Notification of acceptance
25 June 2:00pm-5:30pm Workshop

Workshop Aim:

This workshop will focus on the emerging frontier of network based modelling of designed systems, processes and organizations.

Workshop Chair
Somwrita Sarkar
Program Committee
  • Jeff Nickerson
  • Theodore Zamenopoulos
Workshop Notes
Workshop Notes (link): coming soon

Submission information:

The “networked” view of systems draws on recent findings from the field of complex networks in physics and computer science, in which biological, technological, social, or infrastructural systems are represented as networks of interacting elements. Examples of modelled systems include the Internet and World Wide Web, brain structure and function, online and physical social networks between people, rail, road, or other types of infrastructure networks. The main finding of interest is that the system once modelled as a network, and then analysed, shows global patterns of behaviour that cannot be predicted at the local levels of the entities or their individual relationships.

Design has had a long tradition of modelling system, process, or organizational architectures by modelling relationships between entities. Worldviews similar to complex networks exist in various different representations: Design Structure Matrices (DSMs), functional modelling, or Function-Behavior-Structure networks, for example.

In this workshop, we will explore parallels of representation between these existing design representations and complex network based representations. We will focus on the equivalence of these representations, followed by delving into discussions on open questions: (a) how can the methods of computational modelling and analysis developed in the complex network domain be helpful for designed systems at the system architecture, process, and organizational levels? And (b) what new methods can be conceived when design moves (or active changes to networked structures by designers) are brought into the picture?

The main aim in modelling an existing biological or technological system, like the Internet or the brain, is to understand and then predict the structure and dynamics of the system. In design, our aim goes one step further. We aim to understand, and then change the existing state of the system and move it to a new desired state from an existing, or even non-existent state. The workshop will conclude with discussions on this important distinction, and thoughts on how computational methods may be advanced to tackle the design aims: synthesis and analysis of complex systems, instead of pure analysis or prediction.

500 word submissions are invited on the above topic covering one of (a) design product, (b) process, or (c) organizational structures of designers or teams. Each submission should present only one of these topics for clarity. Through symbolic, mathematical or conceptual representations and case studies, submissions should discuss existing state of the art in the design or complex networks domain, and how this can advance analysis and synthesis of systems. A few examples: (1) how can modularity identification for complex products be enhanced by using clustering or modularity detection methods in complex networks? (2) How can the networks of interactions in crowd sourced designing be represented? Please email the submissions to somwrita.sarkar@sydney.edu.au with the subject DCC16 Networks Workshop.

Workshop format:

The workshop will be divided into 3 sessions, each focussing on products, processes, and organizational structures. In each session, short presentations will be followed by discussions. The submissions will be pre-circulated to workshop participants so that all participants would get a chance to preview the submissions by others, which would lead to a richer discussion.

Attendees at the workshop need to register either as an addition to the DCC'16 conference registration at a cost of $30, or if not registered for the conference at a cost of $60. Please go the DCC16 conference homepage and then to Registration to register.

Return to DCC16 homepage.