Year

2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Computing and Information Technology

Abstract

The procurement of infrastructure systems is a complex domain of information which is very difficult to manage because the knowledge pieces are generated by isolated stakeholders who are also interdependent and affect each other. The interrelationship between stakeholder information which is generated as documents introduces a challenge to keep the domain knowledge consistent and integrated. This diffused area of knowledge threatens the transparency of contracts because there are opportunities to manipulate a piece of information for a particular stakeholder without changes that could be traced to the remaining information. There are document-based guidelines, toolkits, and frameworks published by government bodies and procurement agencies to regulate and manage this domain but they are only partially complete, they are difficult to follow and apply, they are specific to a sector or country, and cannot generate consistent domain knowledge. The model based approaches are based on the use of metamodels in the form of architecture frameworks (AF) and modelling languages which enable consistent and interconnected domain models to be generated. UPDM (Unified Profile for DoDAF and MoDAF) is an academically acceptable and widely used metamodel developed to model and procure complex systems. So, UPDM is analysed to assess whether it could model the system and its procurement domain. While UPDM is complete for modelling all levels of a system (high level operations, specific functions and physical parts), the procurement of the system is not fully covered by this metamodel. This is why the procurement guidelines and frameworks are used as the main sources of knowledge to create a Procurement Metamodel (PMM) for developing procurement artefacts in the form of consistent models. The PMM is integrated into UPDM so all the information about the ‘system’ and its ‘procurement’ will be developed as ‘one’ consistent model. A variety of metamodelling processes and validation techniques are reviewed and used to create a composite method for developing and validating the PMM. The knowledge sources (guidelines) are divided into development and validation sets. The tailored method contains a systematic process which uses a development set to develop the first version of PMM (1.0); this version is then compared against the validation set of guidelines to identify and add the missing concepts and generate version PMM 1.1. The validated metamodel is implemented as a UML/SysML profile which is called Procurement Modelling Language (PML). A metamodel quality assessment method is then used to benchmark the PML against the UML versions and assess its quality features, but to assess the applicability of PML and demonstrate its capabilities, a series of real projects are collected and modelled by PML. The main contributions of this thesis can be summarised as 1) developing a method composed of the best practices for developing and validating modelling languages; 2) Transforming the partially complete sources with a variety of structures to a standardised, well-structured and complete source; 3) Transforming the document based procurement regulations to the model based and machine executable rules; 4) Allowing the contracts to be developed as a consistent model instead of a text based format; 5) Analysing and extending UPDM as the most recognised systems engineering metamodel.

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