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Futures engineering in complex systems

Hassan Bashiri (Department of Computer Engineering, Hamedan University of Technology, Hamedan, Iran)
Amir Nazemi (Department of Futures Studies, National Research Institute for Science Policy, Tehran, Iran)
Ali Mobinidehkordi (Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




This paper attempts to apply complex theory in futures studies and addresses prediction challenges when the system is complex. The purpose of the research is to design a framework to engineer the futures in complex systems where components are divers and inter-related. Relations cannot be interpreted by cause and effect concept.


First, the authors shaped a conceptual framework based on engineering, complex theory and uncertainty. To extract tacit knowledge of experts, an online questionnaire was developed. To validate the proposed framework, a workshop method was adapted with NetLogo simulation.


Opinion of participants in the workshop which is collected through quantitative questionnaire shows that the framework helps us in understanding and shaping scenarios. Harnessing the complexity in developing the futures was the main objective of this paper with the proposed framework which has been realized based on the experience gained from the workshop.


Iterative processes are very important to harness the complexity in systems with uncertainty. The novelty of the research is a combination of engineering achievements in terms of computation, simulation and applying tools with futures studies methods.



Bashiri, H., Nazemi, A. and Mobinidehkordi, A. (2017), "Futures engineering in complex systems", Foresight, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 306-322.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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