Defining a railway system

There is no denying the rapid growth of the complex systems that continuously emerge in the world around us. Technological advancements spawn system after system, each increasing in interdependence on other systems that have come before. Systems, if ever they were separated are vigorously moving towards interconnectedness (Arnold & Wade, 2015). As systems continue to grow in scale and complexity, system integration (SI) has become a key concern (Madni & Sievers, 2014). (ISO 15288 Committee, 2015) states that the purpose of integration is: “to synthesize a set of system elements into a realized system (product or service) that satisfies system requirements, architecture, and design”. Moreover, SI involves interfacing and enabling the interactions of component elements to collectively provide the functionality needed by the system to accomplish its goals. SI increases in complexity when there are legacy systems that need to be integrated, and when humans are an integral part of the system (Madni & Sievers, 2014). All  of which is the case for the railway  operating network.

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Using Models to Assure Emergent Behaviors in Railway Transportation Networks


Railway transportation networks are complex systems of systems which exhibit emerging behaviors. Emergence is the property that distinguishes a collection of things from a system which provides a behavior not attainable by any subset of system constituents. At the railway network level, the necessity of proving the desired emerging behaviors, revealing undesired patterns of behavior, and providing evidence that the rate of occurrence of a particular undesired one is below a specific threshold is stated in the RAMS standard. This short paper briefly discusses different aspects of this approach and elaborates on a successful example.

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Review: Rasmussen’s 1997 paper – Risk management in a dynamic society: A modeling problem

The article by Rasmussen (1997) begins with an introduction that risk management is treated differently across all relevant hierarchical levels of a socio-technical system. However, due to the dynamics of the system, treating risk-related decision-making in isolation does not enable us to recognize when we cross the boundary of safe operation. Thus, when assessing risks in a complex socio-technical system, we have to include the layers of legislation, management, work planners and system operators. As a result, we need to touch upon risk models of the disciplines varying from economics, organizational theories and cognitive psychology to engineering.

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Introduction-Mohsen Jafari

Research Fellow

Mohsen Jafari is Post-doc Research Fellow, who has joined the SIRA project since May 1st 2019. Prior to that, he was Research Fellow at the University of Twente (Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences), and was involved in doing research and teaching on topics related to the economic evaluation of healthcare technologies.    

Mohsen has done both his BSc and MSc degrees in Industrial Engineering at Sharif University of Technology, and University of Tehran, respectively. 

Afterwards, he had been working as Project Coordinator, Planner, and Systems Analyst in different industries for 3-4 years in Tehran/Iran. Mohsen also holds a Ph.D. in Operations and Technology Management from the University of Melbourne (Australia). His research interests are innovation, technology management, product development, operations management, and computational social science. His e-mail address is

Reflection on the key developments on the organizational knowledge creation theory

Theoretical Background
The organization knowledge creation theory was first developed by Nonaka, (1994) that explained the conversion of tacit and explicit knowledge into organizational knowledge and presented four modes of knowledge conversion that are as follows:

  1. Tacit to tacit
  2. Explicit to explicit
  3. Tacit to explicit
  4. Explicit to tacit
Nonaka, (1994) advocated that “the key to acquiring tacit knowledge is experience” and called the process of creating tacit knowledge through shared experience socialization. In addition to this, he stated that “socialization is connected with theories of organizational culture”. 
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