Advances in computers and software tools have fueled the demand for increasingly sophisticated mathematical models and simulators. Although such modeling activities promise much, the reality is that they often fall short in terms of delivering what is required by a project. The primary goal of this Spotlight is to provide guidance for maximizing the benefits of modeling within a project as the project evolves through its lifecycle. A wide range of issues must necessarily be addressed, including creating the right model for the project, dealing with uncertainty, and meeting project expectations. It is equally important to understand the role of modeling within a project. As a key component of the systems engineering process, modeling is not an activity that sits to the side of main project activities, as its uses are much wider than providing occasional performance numbers. However, modeling is only truly effective when it is embraced and supported by all members of a project team.
It is intended that this Spotlight will benefit a wide audience, ranging from engineers, who need to understand how their modeling work fits into the bigger project picture, to systems engineers and project managers, who need to understand how modeling can be used effectively. In terms of project applicability, the information provided covers a broad spectrum of projects ranging from small research and development activities to large system developments. However, no mathematical or engineering design expertise is required by the reader.
There are many excellent books and references that discuss program management, systems, and software engineering, but there is little available that addresses modeling with a project lifecycle. Modeling has changed in many ways over the last few decades because of the advances noted above and the demand for increasingly capable electro-optical sensor systems. The authors are privileged to have been part of this evolution and have been directly involved in many different projects of all shapes and sizes. The emphasis of this book is, therefore, on practical, pragmatic advice and guidance based on practical project experience rather than process engineering or modeling theory.
Online access to SPIE eBooks is limited to subscribing institutions.