uncertainty - MIT OpenCourseWare http:/ocw.mit.edu ESD.71 /...

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MIT OpenCourseWare http://ocw.mit.edu ESD.71 / 1.146 / 3.56 / 16.861 Engineering Systems Analysis for Design Fall 2008 For information about citing these materials or our Terms of Use, visit: http://ocw.mit.edu/terms .
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ESD 71 -- Engineering Systems Analysis for Design UNCERTAINTY ASSIGNMENT Learning objective: The overall purpose of this exercise is to introduce you to the fundamental concept underlying this course. This is the fact that the future is uncertain. Specifically, designers cannot expect to know the future loads and requirements for a system accurately. The development and use of a system over time almost inescapably takes place in the context of changing technical, economic, political, industrial and regulatory conditions. These factors will generally disrupt initial forecasts, and make the actual outcomes be quite different from the best original estimates. In short, the general rule is that the “forecast is always wrong”. Part 1 provides you with a current example of how changing technical, economic, political, industrial, and regulatory conditions have affected forecasts. It is one of many that we could have chosen; the recent and past experience is full of parallel examples. In this case, we give you the ways current loads on a system turned out to be different from forecasts, and invite you to investigate the sources of the disruptions to the forecasts, according to a general checklist we provide. We would like you to appreciate the kinds of significant contextual changes that disrupt forecasts, and take-away a checklist of issues that you could use to anticipate the possible uncertainties that may affect a design issue you may be working on. Part 2 gives you the opportunity to apply what you have worked on in Part 1, to reinforce and generalize that learning. PART 1
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uncertainty - MIT OpenCourseWare http:/ocw.mit.edu ESD.71 /...

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