Laboratory for Systemic Modeling LAMS

Analysis of service specification, verification and validation
Biljana Bajic-Bizumic (2015)
Animation-Based Service Specification, Verification and Validation, Thèse EPFL, no 6551
In her PhD thesis, Biljana Bajic invents a new way of designing hierarchical systems in SEAM. System design is challenging and can be tedious. The business environment of an IT system, the role of an IT system and an IT construction need to be analyzed and designed. The same concepts appear in multiple forms: a customer is an actual person or is a role for an IT system or is a record in a table. This work proposes a way to semi-automate the design process, thus relieving the designer of most of the tedious model refinement tasks inherent to system modeling. This work contributes to the formal and methodological foundations of SEAM.

The use of an embodied-cognition approach to service modeling
Anshuman Saxena (2014)
A Situated and Embodied Approach to Service-oriented Modeling, Thèse EPFL, no 5974
In his PhD thesis, Anshuman Saxena invents a new version of SEAM that could be called “Situated and Embodied Enterprise Modeling”. This work is based on the fact that all knowledge is the result of a concrete experience in a specific environment. It provides a framework that explains how to identify relevant concepts (based on observation, reasoning, history, and/or experience). It also provides a technique, based on physical metaphors, to help workshop participants identify emotions in order to make better and more concrete models. This work contributes mainly to the philosophical foundation of SEAM.

Analysis of the representation of systems and value in business contexts using SEAM
Arash Golnam (2013)
Problem Structuring with the Systemic Enterprise Architecture Method: Representation of Systems and Value in Business Contexts and Integration with Operations Research Methods, Thèse EPFL, no 5626
In his PhD thesis, Arash Golnam makes a significant inroad into the use of SEAM for business strategy and modeling. He identifies how SEAM can federate the main business analysis methods; he shows how SEAM can provide a unifying framework for the most important business analysis methods (e.g., competitive, core-competency, resource-based, transaction cost analysis). He also improves our conceptualization on how we analyze and design value creation for all parties. This work contributes mainly to the theoretical foundation of the business version of SEAM.

Definition of a meta model for system modeling and development of a CAD tool to manage models compliant to this meta-model
Lam-Son Lê (2008)
SeamCAD: a hierarchy-oriented modeling language and a computer-aided tool for entreprise architecture, Thèse EPFL, no 4225
In his PhD thesis, Lam-Son Lê develops a tool to model hierarchical systems. To do so, he had to develop a pragmatic meta-model that could be used in a CAD tool. He had also to invent the heuristics necessary to create, represent and navigate in such models. He experimented also with commercial tools to assess the easiest approach to build such tool. The two main challenges of such a development are the structure of the model, which is highly recursive, and the usability of the tool. The recursive nature of the models can confuse the user and make the tool unusable. This work is the foundation of all further tool developments.

Definition of a technique to verify the alignment between two SEAM specifications
Irina Rychkova (2008)
Formal semantics for refinement verification of entreprise models, Thèse EPFL, no 4210
In her PhD thesis, Irina Rychkova develops an operational semantic for the SEAM models. She defines a mapping between the graphical notation and an (formal) Alloy model that enables model checking. She also defines the concept of model alignment based on the refinement theory. In short, a model represents a service proposed by a system (seen as a black box); another model represents the process that implements that service within the system (seen as a white box). Both models are considered as aligned if the refinement relationship between both system models holds. This definition is central to all work done with SEAM and provides solid foundation to the concept of “alignment”. This work contributes to the formal aspects of SEAM.

Definition of the meaning of the SEAM notation (using a declarative semantics)
José Diego de la Cruz (2007)
Visual contracts (VCs) : enriching graphical systemic models to support diagrammatic reasoning in system design, Thèse EPFL, no 3972
In his PhD thesis, José Diego de la Cruz combines the visual notation and the formal models that define the semantics of the model. In UML terms, he combines the activity diagrams (that define the behavioral elements), the class diagrams (that define the properties modified by the behavior) and the OCL code (that links – formally – both representations). This work contributes to the behavior modelling notation of SEAM.

Definition of a technique for role modeling
Pavel Balabko (2005)
Situation-based modeling framework for enterprise architecture, Thèse EPFL, no 3234
In his PhD thesis, Pavel Balabko explores the notion of roles. This concept was a precursor of the concept of service – what a system does for its environment. One of the highlights of this work is a technique for analyzing elementary roles and for recombining these roles into larger roles. This technique is very useful for exploring systematically new business models.

Explanation of how quality attributes can be modeled in the process of specifying IT systems
Otto Preiss (2004)
Foundations of systems and properties, Thèse EPFL, no 3013
In his PhD thesis, Otto Preiss explores how to model non-functional requirements (NFRs): one of the most fundamental dimension on system modeling. The NFRs are crucial for selecting the technical architecture necessary to build the IT systems. He anchored these concepts to the philosophical concepts of qualities. This work also provides a model that elegantly combines system development and operation, laying the bases of what is now called dev-ops., This work provides the basic principles to combine the models of system development and of system operations. This work contributes to the philosophical foundation of SEAM. It was done in collaboration with ABB.

Explanation of how goals and beliefs can serve for defining IT system requirements
Gil Regev (2003)
A Systemic Paradigm for Early IT System Requirements Based on Regulation Principles: The Lightswitch Approach, Thèse EPFL, no 2810
In his PhD thesis, Gil Regev proposes an extremely innovative method for analyzing motivations. Analyzing the stakeholders’ goals to understand what an IT system should do is relatively standard practice. In this work, he proposes to analyze what the stakeholder tries to maintain (e.g., to preserve the identity of the system in which they work – such as their company), as well as the beliefs they have in doing so. It is possible to understand where the goals come from. This work is one of the main theoretical contributions to SEAM and is probably still its main originality today.

Definition of a system modeling ontology based on RM-ODP. It also provides a formalization in Alloy of RM-ODP
Andrey Naumenko (2002)
Triune Continuum Paradigm : a paradigm for general system modeling and its applications for UML and RM-ODP, Thèse EPFL, no 2581
In his PhD thesis, Andrey Naumenko sets the base of system modeling. This work is based on RM-ODP; he formalized Part 2. He formally defines concepts such as objects (system), behavior, property, and state. The definition was made rigorous through a (formal) Alloy model. This work was essential to the development of SEAM because it defines all concepts necessary to model systems as well as the relation between the models and the realities. This work was largely influenced by the contribution of Guy Genilloud who suggested basing our work on RM-ODP and using Alloy as a formal language.

Others (unrelated to SEAM)
Txomin Nieva (2001)
Remote data acquisition of embedded systems using Internet technologies : a role-based generic system specification, Thèse EPFL, no 2388
In his PhD thesis, Txomin Nieva develops a distributed real-time system for monitoring train. This was an early version of the system that exists today to monitor the performance of systems. This work was done in collaboration with ABB.

Core Theory | Research Domains | Current Research | Past Research | PhD Guidelines
  • Perform theoretical and applied research in business and IT alignment and related fields

    Teach graduate enterprise architecture and business plan disciplines

    Perform technology transfer to established companies and start-ups


Professor Alain Wegmann


Address @ EPFL

    Station 14
    CH-1015 Lausanne
    Getting to LAMS
  • Tel: +41 21 693 43 81
    Fax: +41 21 693 66 10