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Title: A unified modelling system for service representation
Author: Gkekas, Konstantinos
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2012
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This PHD project aims to develop a service design system which has a customer-centric view and delivers a balance between profit and value for both customers and service providers. The system will enable designers to assess the design and provide decision support and rationale at an early service design development stage. Also during the lifecycle of the service it would provide a better cost estimation for the service provider to support its future decisions. The two first chapters give an overview of the service field and the research area. Chapter 1, the introduction, states the aim and objectives of this research along with setting the field of the rationale behind the motivation and scope. Chapter 2, the literature review, gives a thorough overview of the service design area mentioning the theories, techniques, methodologies and methods that have been used directly or indirectly for service modeling/design. Chapter 3, the research methodology, states the rationale behind the decisions to conduct this research in terms of purpose, design, strategy and data collection techniques. Moreover an analysis of the current methodology structure which was based on the adaptation of the aforementioned decisions is provided. In Chapter 4 there is a comparison among three different methods (Service Explorer (SE), Integrated Service CAD and Life cycle simulator (ISCL) and Service Blueprinting (SB)) as identified from the literature, which have been developed specifically for service design. The comparison looks at the dynamic features of each method. A dynamic feature is a property of a service method that has the ability to capture specific elements of the service design process which are subject to continuously change within a specific timeframe. At first, there is a brief discussion on how each method is applied and what the output as a generic process is. It starts with identifying generic key concepts of the service design approach by applying all methods to a rental service scenario. Following that, we create a virtual service of a rental machine scenario and map the previously identified key concepts into specific elements of the rental service. We test all methods against these service concepts to identify how well and in what scope each one performs. A merging process of the service concepts is then carried out to form 4 categories which form the specific dynamic features. We test all methods against these features. In particular we find that, SB lacks dynamic capability. SE does well on prioritising individual customer requirements but provides neither a modular design process nor the ability to deal with changes during the service lifecycle. ISCL can provide a process for generating models by combining previously established building blocks and a life-cycle service simulation. However the resources are fixed and there is no prioritisation on the requirements. A pragmatic service deployment requires a service environment that is subject to change, which in turn is not provided by the current methods we compared. The purpose of Chapter 5 is to demonstrate an open source agent-based simulation language that could be used for service design and to simulate the Emergent Synthesis (ES) methodology. This methodology was identified from the literature search as a potential solution to the research gap presented in Chapter 4. That would act as a validation of using the proposed method in the service design area. For this reason a service market is being used as a modelling example. First the area of agent-based modelling is introduced. Certain modifications take place according to the modelling language needs. Next step is the justification and discussion about these changes. The Systems Modelling Language (SySML) is being introduced as a diagrammatic notation method according to which the altered service market model is being represented. The purpose of Chapter 6 is to provide a new approach for accurate design of a service by combining and developing a unified modelling system which covers all important key aspects of a service scenario. To demonstrate the applicability and the output of the system, a case study has been selected. The rest of this chapter is structured as follows. Then there is the introduction and investigation of the service case study. Also the purpose of that choice is stated. Next step is the full breakdown of the system, the current data flow and how the combination of the individual methods has been implemented. Results of each method are produced while visualising the connections between each input-output. A comparison takes place to show the difference of using each method individually and how the emergence of the system as a result of the combination process affects the output. Last step is the validation and the analysis of the results. The penultimate chapter is the discussion, where the outcome based on the results of each chapter is discussed. In Chapter 4, we discuss the outcome of the comparative analysis process. In Chapter 5 we give the analysis and discussion of the service market modelling output and in Chapter 6 we place a discussion based on the system’s output. Last chapter is the conclusion where there is a brief restatement of the whole research work leading to major contribution points. The major contribution of the developed system is the integration of three major methods and methodologies (SE, ISCL, ES) in order to provide answers to the inherent limitations of current techniques (representation of social behaviours in an environment that is subject to change) in the service design domain.
Supervisor: Alcock, Jeffrey R.; Tiwari, Ashutosh Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Service Design ; Service Engineering ; Customer Value