Visual Analysis for Conceptual Design of Complex Systems

Visual Analysis for Conceptual Design of Complex Systems

L.D. Gitelman O.B. Ryzhuk M.V. Kozhevnikov 

Department of Energy and Industrial Management Systems, Ural Federal University, Russia

30 June 2018
| Citation



Managing the development of complex organizational, technological, and socio-cultural systems calls for the construction of conceptual models that would define the properties and links between the elements of the systems and focus the attention of decision makers on the most significant aspects. The authors propose the visual analysis method as a tool for the conceptual design of complex systems. The method is based on the building of a series of visual images that are associated with the purpose sustainable development and holistic representation of the system. At the initial stage, the general structure of a complex system is analyzed and the required degree of detail of its elements is determined. The system is then broken down into elements and a specific visualization tool is selected for each of them so that the properties of the systems that need improving are highlighted. Ultimately, a conceptual design of the system is created that suggests managerial solutions that meet the interests of the stakeholders. The method has been tested in a number of projects that were implemented with the purpose of ensuring the strategic leadership of major manufacturing companies.


complex systems, concept, conceptual design, decomposition, model, multi-project, visual analysis, visual language, visualization.

1. Introduction
2. Transformation of the Language of Conceptual Design
3. Hands-On Practice with Visualization in Conceptual Design
4. Research Results
5. Conclusion

The work was supported by Act 211 of the Government of the Russian Federation, contract No 02.A03.21.0006.


[1] Gitelman, L.D., Sandler, D.G., Gavrilova, T.B. & Kozhevnikov, M.V., Complex systems management competency for technology modernization. International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, 12(4), pp. 525–537, 2017.

[2] Gitelman, L.D., Sandler, D.G., Kozhevnikov, M.V. & Tretyakov, V.S., Technology platform as a tool for transformation of university science and education activities, [in Russian]. University Management: Practice and Analysis, 4(98), pp. 31–42, 2015.

[3] Kress, G., Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication, London: Routledge, pp. 212, 2010.

[4] Shneiderman, B., The eyes have it: a task by data type taxonomy for information visualizations. Proceedings of 1996 IEEE Conf. on Visual Languages (IV03), pp. 336–343, 1996.

[5] Lengler, R. & Eppler, M.J., Towards a periodic table of visualization methods for management. Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Graphics and Visualization in Engineering, pp. 83–88, 2007.

[6] Rzevski, G. & Skobelev, P., Managing Complexity, Southampton, Boston: WIT Press, 2014, 198 p.

[7] Gavrilova, T.B., Gitelman, L.D. & Kozhevnikov, M.V., System Engineering for Managers [in Russian]. Moscow: Economics, 2017, 188 p.

[8] Woods, D.D., Four concepts for resilience and the implications for the future of resilience engineering. Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 141, pp. 5–9, 2015.

[9] Gillani, S.M., Qadri, S. & Fahad M., Customer oriented requirement engineering by using scrum methodology. Internatıonal Journal of Natural and Engineering Sciences, 8(3), pp. 7–11, 2014.

[10] Barry, P. & Dove, R., Combating uncertainty in the work flow of systems engineering projects. INCOSE International Symposium, 23(1), pp. 368–382, 2013.

[11] Barelkowski, R., Design process as complex system. International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, 13(1), pp. 46–59, 2018.

[12] Meyer, R.E., Höllere, M.A., Jancsary, D. & van Leeuwen, T., The visual dimension in organizing, organization, and organization research: Core ideas, current developments, and promising avenues. The Academy of Management Annals, 7(1), pp. 487–553, 2013.

[13] Vittikh, V.A., Introduction to the Intersubjective Management Theory [in Russian], Samara: Samara Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 2013, 64 p.

[14] Horn, R.E., Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century, Bainbridge, WA: MacroVU Press, 1998, 270 p.

[15] Willems, K., The Periodic Table of Data Science. The 150+ companies, resources, and tools that define the data science industry, available at https://www.datacamp .com/community/blog/data-science-periodic-table?utm_campaign=crowdfire&utm_content=crowdfire&utm_medium=social&utm_source=instagram#4542244293-in#1519033028315 (accessed 10 March 2018)

[16] Averbukh, V., Visualization metaphors. Programming and Computer Software, 27(5), pp. 227–237, 2001.

[17] Risch, J.S., On the role of metaphor in information visualization, available at (accessed 10 March 2018)

[18] Lima, M., Visualization metaphors: old & new, available at (accessed 10 March 2018).

[19] Ziemkiewicz, C. & Kosara, R., The shaping of information by visual metaphors. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 14(6), pp. 1269–1276, 2008.