Advances in group model building
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Advances in Group Model Building. Reflections on recent work with Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann of Strathclyde University. Outline of Remarks. Part I: Context of the study The TSA Aviation Security Simulator The Emerging TPI Approach Part II: What Happened Last Week? Logistics Scripts

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Advances in Group Model Building

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Advances in Group Model Building

Reflections on recent work with Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann of Strathclyde University

Outline of Remarks

  • Part I: Context of the study

    • The TSA Aviation Security Simulator

    • The Emerging TPI Approach

  • Part II: What Happened Last Week?

    • Logistics

    • Scripts

  • Part III: Discussion

Context: TSA Aviation Security Simulator

  • Contract Between Transportation Security Administration and Argonne National Labs

  • Argonne, Sandia, and Los Alamos as part of Tri-Labs collaboration

  • UAlbany as “special teams” subcontractor for Group Model Building

  • Eden and Ackermann invited to expand team

  • Some material in this study is SSI

Context: The Emerging TPI Approach

  • At UAlbany, our work grew out of DTG (with thanks to John Rohrbaugh)

  • Nearly a decade of cooperative discussions

  • Joint Seminar at Albany, Humphrey Institute, and Strathclyde University

  • Recent paper in JPART

  • Cooperative work with British Health Service in Peebles, Scotland: January 2007

Ancient History: Policy Resources in the Welfare Reform Sessions

  • Prevention

  • Child support enforcement

  • Case management & assessment

  • TANF services

    • Employment services, child care, drug treatment, $

  • Diversion services

  • Self-sufficiency promotion

  • Safety net services

  • ...all aggregated up from detailed resources...

Education & training slots and referrals for jobs

Substance abuse & mental health treatment


Workfare and emergency services

Job readiness programs

DOL & JTPA & private


Federal dollars for training (JTPA)

Moneys for grant diversion

Transitional Medicaid

Licensed day-care and other child care

Establish paternity & child support

An Example of a Resource Cluster:Employment Services to Families on TANF

Logistics: Plan for the First Half of Day One

  • Start at 8:00 AM

  • Initial Issue Identification

  • Stakeholder Issue Identification

  • Initial Policy Ranking


  • Graphs Over Time


Initial Issues identified

Issues from Stakeholder Perspectives 1

Initial Policy Priorities

Graphs over time drawn by the participants

More graphs over time drawn by the participants

Graph over time ONE (training)

Logistics: Plan for the Second Half of Day One

  • Concept Model

  • Elicitation of Model Structure

  • Modeler Feedback


  • Scenarios

  • END at 4:15 PM

Schedule for afternoon of the first day

Concept Model

Concept Model

Concept Model

Concept Model Behaviors

Eliciting Model Structure—What we did

  • “Seed” for elicitation was backbone stock and flow structure from Concept Model as elaborated by group

  • Used “variable” pack available from “key variable” list made up in the morning

  • Ability to link model structure to Group Explorer explicitly through variable numbers

Eliciting Model Structure—What we should do next time

  • Use Stakeholder goals and sanctions exercise to generate feedback kernels and “seeds”

  • Use Decision Explorer to generate a list of key model variables for inclusion

  • Experiment with ways to more tightly link DE and Vensim Maps

  • Explore further “fusion” of methods

Modeler Feedback

  • A Standard part of our Group Model Building

  • Completed using ordinary overhead projector


  • Group Explorer used to begin elicitation of scenarios

  • Process returned to on second day

Scenario: TSA rapidly create processes to innovate (R=relative impact, G=relative probability across all scenario events)

Final Policy Priorities (red=short term, green=long term)


  • Stages in the Development of TPI

    • Curiosity (both sides work with facilitated group, computers, and word-and-arrow diagrams)

    • Cooperative Sharing

    • Limited Assimilation

    • Integration (where we are now)

  • “Fusion” of Approaches: a goal?

What Fusion Might Mean

  • Duality of Vensim and Decision Explorer Maps

  • Seamless approach to client groups

  • Ability to “zoom lenses” between micro and macro views

  • New support for model formulation and documentation

  • New products that enhance value to clients

  • Eventually perhaps integrated software suites

Thank You for Your Attention

Questions and Comments

You really don’t want to go beyond this

Issues to be addressed to ensure model is believable and useable

(ranked from most important to least, {5}=must include)

25 ** Human Factors - ability to detect IEDs using technology{5,0}

221 ** staff efficiency {4,9}

123 ** 13 consistency in interpretation and application of sops {4,8}

141 ** increase in training {4,7}

11 ** Throughput {4,6}

138 ** reduce attrition of "good" screeners to retain security knowledge {4,6}

105 ** [criminals] intent on deceiving screening {4,5}

12 * improve person to person communication between TSO and passengers {4,4}

102 * [ aviation system]safety of aircraft {4,3}

107 * 1 & 2= Communicate, communicate, communicate!!! passengers {4,2}

15 * Maintain customer service {4,2}

51 * Lack of conduit for best practices and/or information sharing {4,0}

32 keeping costs reasonable {3,8}

118 [criminals] predictability {3,8}

133 11 willing to die for cause in completing the mission {3,6}

34 shift focus from finding things to identifying hostile intent in people {3,4}

50 distinguish between airport and aviations security {3,1}

64 foster the mindset of investigative scepticism {3,1}

86 [airports mgt] airlines satisfied {3,1}

120 1 no profiling {3,1}

95 [politicians] need for re-election {2,1}

Likely SD variables (involved in feedback)

derived from Group Explorer gatherings

16 Avoid repetitive activity boredom

17 cooperation between airport authority,FSD, local LEO

18 empowerment for STSOs and LTSOs

19 Ability to manage systematic integration of technology and people

22 Passenger awareness of process and expectations

24 checkpoint & baggage communication

32 keeping costs reasonable{3,8}

36 realistic scheduling based on pax loads

40 better federal cooperation at the airport

43 effective deployment of staff

44 reaction procedures to security threat

52 proper relationship with airport stakeholders

54 potential conflicts with local law enforcement

57 deployment of leos so to enable immediate response of unruly passengers

58 maintaining screener interest in job function

64 foster the mindset of investigative skepticism{3,1}

65 reduce line waits

67 [airports mgt] want all available lanes open all the time

69 [airlines] airlines would like to see screening efficiency increase such that there is no wait time at the checkpoint

71 16 enough TSo's to eliminate fatigue

77 airlines would like the checkpoint experience to very pleasant and polite--No anxiety

80 14 screening procedures change too often

81 16 burn out

99 17: reducing hassle to passengers

104 [airlines] reducing passenger fear

113 [airlines] providing high levels of service to frequent/first class travelers

Most central themes (lots of links in and out for 3 levels) and summary links between them

Stakeholder Goals as a System (red=media; LEO=gray; maroon=airport; green=airlines; blue=passengers; teal=screeners; olive=politicians)

Issues from Stakeholder Perspectives 2

Scenario: IED explosion (R=relative impact, G=relative probability across all scenario events)

Scenario: chemical or biological attack on airport (R=relative impact, G=relative probability across all scenario events)

Scenario: employee based attack (R=relative impact, G=relative probability across all scenario events)

Scenario: remaining material (R=relative impact, G=relative probability across all scenario events)

Graph over time TWO (staffing)

Graph over time THREE (IED’s)

Stakeholder Responses to Security System Failure

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