Seminar Series: Guest Speaker Thursday 3/30

Dr.  Caroline Krejci from the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Iowa State University will present a Seminar this Thursday, March 30, at 1:30pm in the Engineering Research Building (ERB) 228.  Dr. Krejci’s presentation title, abstract, and biographical sketch are below.

All students and faculty are encouraged to attend.

Author: Dr. Caroline Krejci
Title: Evaluating Sociotechnical Systems Using Agent-Based Modeling
Location: Engineering Research Building (ERB) 228
Date: Thursday, March 30
Time: 1:30pm – 2:50pm

Abstract: Mathematical modeling is often used to optimize or gain a better understanding of the behavior of sociotechnical systems (e.g., supply chains, production systems).  However, such models typically ignore or make unrealistic assumptions about the behavior of a system’s human participants, which can limit model validity.  By contrast, agent-based modeling (ABM) is a computational modeling method that allows the human actors and/or organizations in sociotechnical systems to be modeled as autonomous and intelligent agents.  These agents can be programmed with empirically valid human characteristics and capabilities, including bounded rationality, social skills, and the ability to adapt and learn from accumulated experience and system feedback.  Over time, individual agent decisions, interactions, and adaptations may yield emergent system-level behaviors of interest, which are observable via ABM outputs.  ABM can also be combined with other modeling methods, such as discrete-event simulation, GIS, and building energy simulators.  These hybrid simulation models enable the integration of a variety of useful nonsocial system properties (e.g., queueing behavior) into an ABM.

This presentation will describe several novel approaches to sociotechnical system modeling using ABM and hybrid simulation.  The attributes, preferences, and decision-making processes of the agents in these models are empirically informed, using data that was collected via interviews, surveys, and experiments.  The resulting models have been used to provide strategic decision support to participants and stakeholders in regional food supply chains, humanitarian relief chains, urban communities, and production systems.

Biographical Sketch: Dr. Caroline Krejci is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Iowa State University.  She worked as an industrial engineer for UPS and as an operations engineer for Lutron Electronics before earning a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Washington in 2013.  Dr. Krejci’s research interests are focused on the development of quantitative methodologies for the analysis and management of sociotechnical systems.  She specializes in modeling supply networks as complex adaptive systems, which enables the realistic representation of network participants as autonomous and heterogeneous agents that are capable of complex planning, decision making, interactions, and adaptations in a dynamic environment.  Such complex systems often exhibit unpredictable and nonlinear behavior, which can be captured through the use of agent-based modeling techniques.  Dr. Krejci is particularly interested in using these techniques to explore the implications of different management policies on long-term social, environmental, and economic system sustainability.



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