SIMULATION AND GAMING APPROACHES FOR SYSTEMS OF SYSTEMS: THE SAUDI INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING GAME
Infrastructure are composed of large-scale systems operated and managed by organizations having
a degree of independence from one another. In working towards national objectives such as sustainable
development, strategic planning of infrastructure as a system-of-systems must consider integrated decisions
with partially-decentralized decision-making. This seminar presents ongoing research to develop and mature
simulation and gaming approaches to support decisions in Saudi Arabia, where $400 billion is budgeted for
new infrastructure projects between 2010 and 2015.
Simulation games combine technical simulation models with human players in an interactive
environment. First, the infrastructure system-of-systems (ISoS) framework defines templates for interoperable
models. The ISoS framework uses graph-theoretic components to express resource flow behaviors and has
been implemented using the IEEE Std. 1516 High Level Architecture (HLA) for simulation interoperability.
Next, the prototype multi-player Saudi Infrastructure Planning Game uses a simplified view of Saudi Arabia
as three regions to express key interactions between agriculture, water, oil and gas, electricity, and social
systems. Players decide which infrastructure elements to create, where, and when over a 30-year time
horizon while all other operational details are optimized with a linear programming model. Finally, a human
design experiment uses the Saudi Infrastructure Planning Game as a context-rich tool to evaluate the effect
of quantitative metrics on collaborative decisions.
is a Ph.D. degree candidate in the Engineering Systems Division at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the design and use of software tools to meet strategic
objectives for complex systems. His past and present projects studied city- and national-level civil
infrastructure systems, human space exploration campaigns, and federated and distributed satellite systems.
His doctoral dissertation develops the concept of “interoperable simulation games” drawing from the ideas,
practices, and technology of military wargaming. In addition to developing software tools, he uses human
design experiments to evaluate prototypes and gather data for evaluation of behavioral hypotheses. Paul
holds a S.M. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a
B.S. degree in Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin -