A Hierarchical Modeling Methodology for the Definition and Selection of Requirements

by Dufresne, Stephane

Abstract (Summary)
This dissertation describes the development of a requirements analysis methodology that takes into account the concept of operations and the hierarchical decomposition of aerospace systems. At the core of the methodology, the Analytic Network Process (ANP) is used to ensure the traceability between the qualitative and quantitative information present in the hierarchical model. The proposed methodology is implemented to the requirements definition of a hurricane tracker Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Three research objectives are identified in this work; (1) improve the requirements mapping process by matching the stakeholder expectations with the concept of operations, systems and available resources; (2) reduce the epistemic uncertainty surrounding the requirements and requirements mapping; and (3) improve the requirements down-selection process by taking into account the level of importance of the criteria and the available resources. Several challenges are associated with the identification and definition of requirements. The complexity of the system implies that a large number of requirements are needed to define the systems. These requirements are defined early in the conceptual design, where the level of knowledge is relatively low and the level of uncertainty is large. The proposed methodology intends to increase the level of knowledge and reduce the level of uncertainty by guiding the design team through a structured process. To address these challenges, a new methodology is created to flow-down the requirements from the stakeholder expectations to the systems alternatives. A taxonomy of requirements is created to classify the information gathered during the problem definition. Subsequently, the operational and systems functions and measures of effectiveness are integrated to a hierarchical model to allow the traceability of the information. Monte Carlo methods are used to evaluate the variations of the hierarchical model elements and consequently reduce the epistemic uncertainty. The proposed methodology is applied to the design of a hurricane tracker Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to demonstrate the origin and impact of requirements on the concept of operations and systems alternatives. This research demonstrates that the hierarchical modeling methodology provides a traceable flow-down of the requirements from the problem definition to the systems alternatives phases of conceptual design.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Costello, Mark; Bishop, Carlee; Mavris, Dimitri; Nickol, Craig; Schrage, Daniel

School:Georgia Institute of Technology

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:aerospace engineering


Date of Publication:05/05/2008

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