This article describes a general experimental technique to infer the potential advantages of proposed, unrealized improvements to a working system. The technique models a complex system as a function of the subsystems improved by the proposals. It emphasizes systems with components that are difficult to model, such as human operators. The inferred-advantage method explores the model of the present system by systematically restricting the performance of the system's subcomponents as if they are experimental control variables and then assessing the benefit of a proposed improvement by extrapolation. The article describes the application of the technique to an advanced telerobotic system, provides a general experimental procedure to apply the technique, and validates this procedure on a simulated design problem. The inferred-advantage technique provides experimental validation for design proposals before managers must commit resources to detail design and hardware investments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering