PhD Thesis: URANOS - A Generic System Model for Human-Centered Design

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Student Benjamin Hadorn
Year 2016
University University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Department Computer Science


With the increasing digitalization of the workplace and the private environment, holistic approaches are becoming more important in order to be able to optimally integrate and serve human beings. Our work focuses on modeling for human-centered systems, where human and machine form an adaptive learning organization and work together to achieve their common goals. Here, humans are handled as holistic and even spiritual beings and forming a human-machine symbiosis. Approaching human-centered system design, we developed a holistic and generic system model, called URANOS. The model allows to describe systems properties which are not considered in classical approaches, such as the influence of machines within humans’ natural and socio-cultural environments. Therefore, it provides a deep understanding of dynamics and evolutionary development of complex and non-linear systems. From this generic and systemic standpoint, we propose several design principles for human-centered systems that ensure human dignity and integrity, i.e. to not be harmed, enslaved, reduced, etc. In a concrete prototype design addressing smart industrial machines, we show how these principles can be applied and what their implications are.


Human-Machine Symbiosis • Generic System Model • Human-centered Design • Holistic System Modeling • Cybernetics • Systemics • Integral Thinking • Coordination • Cyber-physical System • Adaptive System • Learning Organization • Industry 4.0


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