System Evolution Prediction and Manipulation Using a Lotka-Volterra Ecosystem Model

January 2019 | Shankar, Venkatesh

System evolution prediction is critical for designers to make R&D and outsourcing decisions. Many descriptive models are used for this purpose, but they have several limitations. In this paper, we extend the Lotka–Volterra equations as an ecosystem model to predict the performances of the system and its components. This model comprises a set of differential equations that describe symbiosis, commensalism, and amensalism relationships between a system and multiple components. We associate every parameter in the model with its causal factors, develop a three-step application of the model, and illustrate the application through a case study on passenger airplane fuel efficiency. Our model identifies the key components in a system. The identified components help designers generate strategies to boost system performance.



  • Guanglu Zhang
  • Daniel McAdams
  • Douglas Allaire


Design Studies

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