Abstract: In our envisioned future, we see engineers, analysts, and decision makers immersed in highly interactive model-centric environments using digital system models as a primary basis for system decisions. While significant progress on modeling languages, modeling practices, and modeling methods has been achieved, insufficient attention has been given to the necessary interactivity between humans and models. Given emerging modeling toolsets, availability of powerful computational resources, and autonomous decision-aiding, the human role in relationship to models must be re-examined. In this talk, Dr. Rhodes will share findings and insights from ongoing research on human-model interactivity. The research is motivated by the need to better understand and enable effective “human-model teaming”, while drawing from advancements in data science, visual analytics, and growing knowledge of complex systems. Ongoing areas of inquiry include: how and why individuals interact within model-centric environments, facets of human interaction with visualization tools and large data sets, and underlying fundamentals such as the role of trust in model-centric decision making. Emerging implications for practice extending from the interim findings are discussed.
Bio: Donna Rhodes is a principal research scientist in the MIT Sociotechnical Systems Research Center, and co-founder and director of MIT’s Systems Engineering Advancement Initiative (SEAri). She teaches and advises graduate students across multiple programs at MIT, and is principal investigator for numerous sponsored research projects. Her research includes innovative methods for architecting and design of complex systems and enterprises, human-model interaction, model-centric decision making, and empirical studies of engineering systems practice. Prior to MIT, Dr. Rhodes held technical and senior management positions at IBM Federal Systems, Lockheed Martin, and Lucent. She has been very involved in the evolution of the systems engineering field, and is a Past President and Fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Systems Science from the T.J. Watson School of Engineering at Binghamton University.