SFB 768 Subproject A2

(finished) Modeling and evaluating development relationships across disciplines

Field of Study


Product-service systems, cycles management, structural complexity management, system dynamics, agent-based modeling, evaluation of innovation processes


New technological developments give increased leeway to develop technical systems. The increasing interconnectedness of technical systems and services leads to new business models based on hybrid bundles of services (product-service systems, so-called PSS). Development cycles are getting shorter in order to meet new or changed customer needs in a timely prompt way. Development decisions must be made early in the innovation process. Long-term consequences cannot be estimated and are difficult to anticipate due to changing market situations. Vendors and developers of PSS are brought to decision-making situations generating far-reaching consequences to the innovation process. Decisions must be made by reason of incomplete information about the system and the innovation process. During the innovation process the development environment changes. The developers need to respond appropriately and have to adapt the system and the process.

The key research question of subproject A2 is: How is it possible to already determine the optimal PSS structure in the early phases of innovation processes?


The aim of subproject A2 is:

  • to manage complex dependencies in technical systems characterized by cycles 
  • to manage the effects of cycles in a targeted manner 
  • to identify the domains and dependencies in product-service systems and environment 
  • to evaluate and compare the structures of dependencies and cycle effects
  • to structure dependencies for the development and management of technical systems


To achieve the objectives of the subproject, the work program is divided into three sections:

  • In the first section modeling and information acquisition are researched. Result of the activities is a guideline for creating PSS models.
  • In the second section the evaluation of the structure of technical systems is researched. Results of this section are a procedure for the determination of relationships between structure and system characteristics as well as a list of identified relationships.
  • In the third section the relation between structure and behavior of a system is quantified to predict the extent of structural changes and to optimize systems with respect to their desired behavior.

Project Term

January 2012 to December 2015