International Institute of
Large-Scale Engineering Systems Integration
An Institute of Advanced
to Permanently Solve the Crisis in Interoperability, Standards,
Large-Scale Engineering Systems Integration.
Institute Mission Statement
The modern world is founded on large-scale
engineering systems that are dependent on information integration
across multiple project teams working in different technological
disciplines and using heterogeneous computer-support systems.
Major studies have shown that the costs to industry of inadequate
integration are enormous - in the billions of dollars - and considerable
effort and expense are being put into solving it. Yet most solutions
that are attempted, at the considerable costs, have been found
to have purely temporary validity and have required the investment
of enormous costs over and over again, in a never-ending cycle.
As an example, the design and manufacturing
of a complex weapon system or commercial aircraft involves an
intensive collaboration between prime contractors and distributed
supply chains. CAD incompatibility between software systems in
different components of the supply chain is a major obstacle
to the exchange of CAD model data - a problem that can be alleviated
only by standards or point-to-point translators. A significant
international standard being developed to deal with this is ISO
10303 (STEP, STandard for the Exchange of Product model data).
This is intended to provide a system-independent/neutral computer-interpretable
representation of product data (physical and functional characteristics)
across the entire product life-cycle (design and engineering
analysis, manufacture planning and control, utilization, maintenance
and support, disposal). The goal is that this representation
should be suitable for (1) neutral file exchange, (2) implementing
product databases, (3) archiving data and long-term data retention.
However, the problem with the main current
approach in ISO 10303 is that it tends to create standards as
a compromise between existing programs. Therefore these standards
are subject to loss of validity the moment any one of those programs
changes. This means that the considerable time and cost spent
on establishing standards, by the participating aerospace, automotive,
ship-building, and military organizations, have no permanent
value for them, since programs are continually changed, and therefore
these costs must be re-expended by those companies in never-ending
cycles. This problem is well-known and is being increasingly
expressed by ISO members with a quite a strong sense of defeat.
As one of the leaders at ISO exclaimed at a recent meeting: "What
we want to know is the intersection of future systems!"
What is not understood is that the most
fundamental problem is as follows: Currently, interoperability
is not being regarded as a phenomenon that should be studied
and developed as a rigorous mathematical and scientifically-lawful
phenomenon. The current means of dealing with interoperability
is much the same as the way mechanical problems were handled
prior to Newton: ad-hoc trial-and-error constructions that were
completely local to the present problem, and with no sense that
each problem is an example of a set of globally-valid laws that
are expressible in mathematical equations that directly reveal
the real structure of the problem and the means of solving it.
Definition of Interoperability
The methods currently used by organizations
to attempt to solve interoperability are ad-hoc trial-and-error
constructions that are purely temporary to the present situation,
because they are compromises between existing releases of software.
In contrast, Interoperability Science will solve the problems
by developing a principled and systematic mathematical science
consisting of a set of globally-valid laws that directly reveal
the real structure of the problems and permanently solve them
despite the changes in software and engineering systems.
A further justification of this approach
is that, throughout the history of science, it has been consistently
proved that there is nothing more practical than theory: Newton's
theoretical system lead to enormous practical advances for civilization.
Similarly, Maxwell's laws for electromagnetism predicted electromagnetic
waves, which lead immediately to the discovery of radio-waves,
which turned the world into a global communications village.
The theoretical science called quantum mechanics, which is largely
based on mathematical group theory, lead to nuclear physics.
Correspondingly the creation of an interoperability science will
lead to immense practical advances for industry.
To carry this out this program, the institute
consists of the following:
(1) A consortium of mathematically-advanced
scientists of proven capacity to formulate new and powerful theoretical
understanding of complex domains that have not previously been
(2) The involvement of major engineering
organizations, such as aerospace and automotive production companies,
space and military agencies, etc., to continually present these
scientists with the complex integration problems that must be
(3) An educational framework in which a
new generation of students can be raised to think in the advanced
scientific and mathematical techniques that are developed to
solve the complex integration problem.
Near the beginning of this document, we
illustrated the issues with the example of CAD interoperability.
However, the institute concerns all major examples of interoperability,
since this is the only way that a principled mathematical science
of interoperability can be formed. Major examples of interoperability
include: multi-disciplinary engineering and scientific project
integration, ground-systems operations for aerospace, data integration
in scientific exploration, complex weapons systems coordination,
product life-cycle management in large-scale manufacturing, image
data-base integration, data life-cycle extension by establishing
permanent reusability for data and software, etc.
Professor Michael Leyton,
DIMACS Center for Discrete Mathematics,
& Theoretical Computer Science,
Rutgers University, Busch Campus,
New Brunswick, NJ 08854,
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org