Mark Sh. Levin

(Since Sept. 2004; course is stopped on July 1, 2008 )

(Students Papers)


In the course, the following is studied:
(i) fundamentals of stuctural system modeling,
(ii) system analysis, and
(iii) system design (synthesis, integration).
Students will get skills in structural modeling, system analysis and evaluation, system integration.
Some basic kinds of applied systems are considered.
In addition, the following is under examination:
(a) team work,
(b) preparation and presentation of project results as reports, articles, computer-based materials, various talks
(e.g., seminars, conferences).

Basic Issues:

1. Structures of systems
2. Models of systems
3. System decomposition (partitioning)
4. Evaluation of systems
5. Evolution of systems (system development)
6. System testing
7. Modularity
8. Human participation (system part, various experts)
9. Structural mathematical models (graphs, networks)
10. Main system problems: design (synthesis, integration), revelation of bottlenecks, improvement (adaptation, redesign/upgrade processes), multistage design (design of system trajectories), etc.

Schemes (Frameworks) of Design and Models

1. Hierarchical design scheme (system, subsystems, etc.)
2. System life cycle (preliminary research stage, R & D, manufacturing, testing, utilization and maintenance, recycling)
3. Optimization including combinatorial optimization
4. Multicriteria decision making (utility function, interactive methods, AHP, Electre, etc.)
5. Design scheme PSI (Parameter Space Investigation)
6. Morphological analysis, combinatorial synthesis

Basic Kinds of Applied Systems

1. Transportation systems 2. Urban systems 3. House-building systems 4. Manufacturing system 5. Communication systems 6. Computer systems 7. Social systems 8. Organizational systems 9. Information systems 10. Environmental systems 11. Financial systems

Organization of Course (e.g., structure, prerequisite):

Contents: (1) lectures (31), (2) assignment (6 types), (3) seminars for discussion and presentations of results, (4) test work, (5) team projects, (6) exam.
Prerequisite: (1) basic mathematical courses, (2) computer literacy (Word, Latex, PowerPoint, Excell, MatLab), (3) skills in the design of Web-pages.
Course grading scheme: (1) assignments (10 %), (2) test work (10 %), (3) project (10 %), (4) exam (25 %), (5) report on project as computer-based materials (Latex/Word, PowerPoint), (6) presentation of the project results at a special seminar (15 %).



1. Systems, structure, life cycle. Examples. ( English version, Russian version )
2. Modularity, system decomposition (partitioning). Examples. ( English version, Russian version )
3. Structural models (graphs, networks, binary relations). Examples. ( English version, Russian version )
4. Example: joint design of a hierarchical system. Prospective research directions in communication networks.( English version, Russian version )
5. Information technology. Human participation (in system, in system design). ( English version, Russian version )
6. Schemes of design process. Design problems: (a) design, (b) analysis and assessment, (c) detection of bottlenecks, (d) improvement (redesign, uprgade processes), (e) multi-stage design, and (f) modeling of system evolution / development. ( English version, Russian version )
7. Concurrent engineering and life cycle. Traditional hierarchical system design. Examples of applied systems (manufacturing systems, etc.). ( English version, Russian version )


8. Principles of system analysis. Paradigm of decision making. Basic decision making problems. ( English version, Russian version )
9. Kinds of scales. Pareto-effective decisions. Evaluation of systems. Hierarchy of requirements / criteria. Roles in decision making process. Example. ( English version, Russian version )
10. Multicriteria decision making (utility function, pairwise comparison, levels of incomparability / equivalence, outranking techniques, AHP). Integration / aggregation of results. ( English version, Russian version )
11.Framework of decision making and its partitioning. Examples. ( English version, Russian version )
12.Function, mapping. Optimization models. ( English version, Russian version )
13. Basic models of combinatorial optimization: knapsack problem, multiple choice problem. Types of solutions (exact solutions, approximate solutions). Types of algorithms (polynomial algorithms, enumerative algorithms, etc.). Complexity of problems. Global approaches and local techniques. ( English version, Russian version )
14. Basic models of combinatorial optimization: integer nonlinear programming, packing problems, bin-packing problem, scheduling problems, maximal clique problem. ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
15. Scheme of multicriteira design PSI (parameter space investigation). ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
16. Design technical documentation. Types of interchange techniques. Genetic algorithms. Multi-objective evolutionary optimization. Multidisciplinary optimization. ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
17. Basic models of combinatorial optimization (continuation). Spanning problems: 1-connected case (spanning tree, minimal Steiner tree), 2-connected case (two-layer stucture). Traveling salesman problem (formulation, application). Assignment problem (formulation, application). Multiple matching problem (illustration, application). Usage of assignment problem in image processing (i.e., sequence of frames). ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
18. Graph coloring (illustration, application). Graph covering problems (illustration, application). Alignment problem. Maximal substructure and minimal superstructure (illustration, application). ( English version (briefly), Russian version )


19. Morphological analysis, morphological synthesis (combinatorial synthesis). Formulation, solving schemes, design examples, application. ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
20. Application of morphological synthesis: design of team, design of problem solving strategy (multicriteria ranking). (English version (briefly), Russian version )
21. Approaches to revelation of system bottlenecks. Morphological synthesis: improvement of systems, multi-stage design ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
22. Morphological synthesis: system improvement (upgrade, reengineering): example for team; example for generations of software package for multicriteria ranking ( English version, Russian version )
23. Analysis of new domain. 8 basic problems for system analysis / design. Example for notebook. ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
24. Development of system for signal processing. System change operations. Combinatorial problems for design / planning of system change process. ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
25. Design of life cycle. Design of multi-product system with common modules. ( English version (briefly), Russian version )


26. System testing: approaches, models, examples ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
27. Diagnosis, evaluation, improvement (problems, frameworks, examples) ( English verison (briefly), Russian version )
28. System maintenance (problems, models, examples) ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
29. Requirements engineering ( English version, Russian version )
30. Allocation-like problems anf their application in various systems. ( English version (briefly), Russian version )
31. Satisfiability problem. Six basic combinatorial problems (satisfiability, Hamilton cycle, vertex covering, clique, etc.). Timetabling problems. ( English version (briefly), Russian version )

Integrated pdf.file with Lecture Presentations

1. English version
2. Russian version

About Extended/Advanced Textbooks for the Course:

1. English version:
Mark Sh. Levin, Modular System Design and Evaluation. Springer, 473 p., 2015 (Due: Sep. 14, 2014). ISBN 978-3-319-09875-3
(i) Springer book site
(i) Book page in Amazon
(iii) pdf-file: title, preface, contents (from Springer site)
2. Russian version:
Mark Sh.Levin, Decision Support Technology for Modular Systems. Electronic book. 341 p., 2013 (in Russian).


1. Design of structural model for an applied system
2. Revelation of bottlenecks
3. Multicriteria comparison of systems
4. Assessment of system proximity
5. Evaluation of system(s)
6. Combinatorial synthesis of a system

Lab. works:

Lab. 1.
Part 1A: Introductory work (computer environment, homepage design, preparation of reports and presentations, MatLab).
Part 1B: Hierarchical morphological design of a modular system (e.g., student plan, software, electronic device, etc.)
Lab. 2. Multicriteria ranking (utility function approach, Pareto approach, method ELECTRE)
Lab. 3. Multicriteria knapsack problem
Lab. 4. Method of proximity to ideal point
Lab. 5. Clustering
Lab. 6. Multicriteria multiple choice problem
Lab. 7. Hierarchical ordinal evaluation of composite system (integration tables)
Lab. 8. Composite applied example: clustering & multiple choice problem
Lab. 9. Assignment/Allocation problem
Lab. 10. Composite applied example:
clustering & clustering& allocation & multiple choice problem
Lab. 11. Travelling salesman problem (TSP)
Lab. 12. Additional & individual, by choice: Topics


1. Design of system (structural model, generation of system alternatives, analysis)
2. Analysis and improvement / upgrade of a system (structural model, revelation of bottlenecks, design of an improvement strategy)
3. Design of a system for several development stages (structural model, generation of system alternatives, analysis)
4. Analysis of several system generations and technological forecast

Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (Univ.),
Faculty of Radio Engineering & Cybernetics
(Faculty Course)

* NetCracker (a subsidiary of NEC Corporation)
(period: (a) Sept. 1, 2004 ... June 30, 2007; (b) Jan. 1, 2008 ... June 30, 2008)

Course Sections, References, and Exam Structure ( English version, Russian version )

(1) Fall 2004: Sept. 2004 ... Jan. 2005 (groups 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, and 117)
(2) Spring 2005: Febr. 2005 ... June 2005 (groups 113, 114, and 117)
(3) Fall 2005: Sept. 2005 ... Jan. 2006 (groups 211, 212, 214, 215, 216, and 217a)
(4) Spring 2006: Febr. 2006 ... June 2006 (groups 213, 214, 217b, 219)
(5) Fall 2006: Sept. 2006 ... Jan. 2007 (groups 311, 312, 315, 316, 317a)
(6) Spring 2007: Febr. 2007 ... June 2007 (groups 313, 314, 317b, 319)
(7) Fall 2007: Sept. 2007 ... Jan. 2008 (groups 411, 412, 415, 416, 417, 418)
(8) Spring 2008: Febr. 2008 ... June 2008 (groups 413, 414, 419)

Some additionally recommended books for multidisciplinary system design thinking

Support materials in computer class

Students Studies (Materials, Papers, Presentations)

Note on Course (in Russian)

Levin's Virtual Research Center (Current/Recent Research Students, Collaborators, etc.)


(1) MIT System Design and Management Program,
MIT's Engineering Systems Division (MIT Sloan School of Management and MIT School of Engineering)

(2) Graduate Studies in Systems Engineering Design,
Dept. of Systems Engineering Design (Univ. of Waterloo, Canada)

(3) Course on Complex System Design, Prof. Irem Y. Turem (& Complex Engineered Systems Design 'CESD' Lab.),
School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering,
Oregon State University

(4) Graduate Studies in System Design & Management,
Graduate School of System Design and Management (Japan's Keio Univ., Tokyo)

(5) "Integrated Product and Process Design" Program,
College of Engineering (Univ. of Florida)

(6) Decision Engineering Program
School of Science & Engineering (Reykjavik University)

(7) Engineering Design Program, School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (The Pennsylvania State University)
(8) Singapore University of Technology and Design SUTD (open doors: Apr. 2012)