This SMART Seminar was presented on June 28, 2012.
Abstract: Socio-technical systems comprise both individuals and groups of people (the social side), and information and processes (the technological side. Examples of socio-technical systems include logistics, customs, and management at an airport, time and task management of an office worker, and optimal usage of an enterprise computer network.
We study one instance of a process within such a complex system: the progress of containers through customs. This process is more often an exercise in negotiation rather than a structured queuing system. Once regulatory processes involves negotiation, corruption becomes a factor. Studies by the OECD and other organizations reveal that customs corruption is not easily combated by policy changes.
We suggest that simulation of potential reform policies in the maritime customs context can provide insights for decision makers. In this talk we describe work in progress towards a simulation calibrated on processes at the Port of Beirut, and argue for the applicability of agent-based modelling in the domain. This is joint work with P. Attie, R. Outa, and F. J. Srour.
Bio: Neil Yorke-Smith is an Assistant Professor of Business Information and Decision Systems at the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, and a Research Scientist at SRI International, USA. His research focuses on technologies that assist human decision making, with interests including intelligent agents, simulation and serious games, preference modelling, constraint-based reasoning, machine learning and data mining, and their real world applications.
Publications and further information are available at: http://www.aub.edu.lb/~nysmith