Conceptual design of discrete-event systems using templates
This work describes the research conducted in the quest for designing better software for discrete-event system (DES) control. The think-aloud data from an exploratory observational study of solving DES control problems contributed to the formulation of a list of recommendations on how to design and improve DES software. These observations, together with other relevant research, led to the proposal of a novel approach to DES problem solving, namely, the template design methodology. This methodology does not require the introduction of new control theory; it is rather an reinterpretation of the existing modelling framework. Software supporting this methodology was implemented and subsequently evaluated using twelve subjects. Significant improvements in the speed of problem solving as well as positive evaluations by the subjects were observed. The usability data do not show any drawbacks to applying the methodology.