“System of Systems” concept for modeling sustainability

In this column from France Stratégie, Yann Chazal tells us about an original and innovative approach to modeling.

This approach is based on the concept of “Systems of Systems”. It is also particularly suited to the development of low-carbon adaptation strategies at the territorial level.

Yann is an expert in complex systems engineering at Renault.

Interview conducted by Julien Bueb and Carole Cocault

Before discussing what “systems of systems” are, what do you think modeling is?

“A model is an approximation of reality”. I am comfortable with this definition. She spontaneously suggests adapting the level of approximation to just the necessary what one needs to study. However, when one is forced not to ignore the dimension complex of reality – this is obviously the case in the question of sustainability -, the practice the most common is to identify interactions, represent them in the form of laws of often nonlinear behavior and interweaving them. I obviously respect the modelers who subscribe to this practice, not only because it requires them a lot of knowledge and know-how, but also because there are real pitfalls. Indeed, the interactions that can be envisaged are limitless, and can also be based on relationships implied. Insofar as their hierarchy of importance is not previously established, the modeler always wonders about the necessary enrichment of his model. Otherwise, constitutive laws are often proposed by experts, but the modeler must also appropriate their limits of validity to make reasoned use of them in his model.

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