Utilizing Agent-Based Modeling to Quantify Robustness in Design Teams with Respect to Cognitive Style

When forming a design team, structural factors such as team size and composition are of great importance. Although this team may be optimized for a particular task, teams must often contend with a variety of project types with varying complexity and constraints. Therefore, the long-term success of the team is closely tied to their ability to perform consistently and well across multiple design problems. In this work, we refer to that quality as robustness. Little empirical research has explored team robustness, as human subject experiments that isolate certain behaviors to study a broad range of design problems are highly complex and difficult to execute. This is exacerbated when studying teams with specific compositions. The aim of this study is to examine the robustness of teams by creating teams of computational agents with varying characteristics and testing their performance on several problems. Leveraging computational agents is an efficient way to rapidly and iteratively modify parameters and observe multiple outcomes while changing team composition. In this paper, we use cognitive style as the primary factor for determining team composition, as cognitive style has been shown to influence problem solving strategy and decision making. Specifically, we investigate the robustness of teams with both homogenous cognitive style and heterogenous cognitive style, as well as a evaluating the effect of team size. Different approaches to composing teams with homogeneous and heterogeneous cognitive styles did not substantially impact robustness. However, the average robustness of the teams improved as team size increased. Future research with additional team composition parameters would aid in identifying a team that is significantly more robust than others and extending our research to human subjects will further establish the validity of our results. Advisor Information: Dr. Christopher Mccomb, assistant professor 213U Hammond Building uum209@psu.edu 814-865-2952

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Work Title Utilizing Agent-Based Modeling to Quantify Robustness in Design Teams with Respect to Cognitive Style
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Penn State
Creators
  1. Noriana Radwan
Keyword
  1. design
  2. cognitive style
  3. teams
  4. robustness
  5. agent-based
  6. robust
  7. modeling
License All rights reserved
Work Type Research Paper
Publication Date 2020
Deposited April 13, 2020

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