“Science starts with a problem…” – KARL POPPER


The DSD at IMT provides scientific problem-solving capability. Our focus is on developing the necessary variety of scientific skill to cover problems of as wide a range as possible, as well as to focus our attention on problems in the maritime context. To accomplish this we provide the following services:

Scientific problem-solving as knowledge creation. We are aware that solving problems using the scientific method has proven itself to be the most successful vehicle of knowledge creation. We therefore provide a service in knowledge and innovation management.

Generic Decision Support Tools. We are constantly defining and developing generic tools for decision support application. We use these tools where relevant in our modeling, providing decision-support tools for decision-makers. We also have commercial tools as required for our work. We currently have the following tools:

SIPro. Systemic Information Processing tool, which facilitates knowledge processing across system levels. It is able to dynamically define information structures and processing algorithms as required per application. We have done various implementations of SIPro for users, including a wide range of applications such as information systems, electronic filing, project management, and metadata management.

ICE. Impact of Change Evaluator, which facilitates the integration of hard measurements with value systems of managers. It is a management tool which enables managers to visualize the ongoing level of performance of the systems they manage. It is able to define structures and value systems dynamically and also to highlight trends and risks to the manager. We use this tool in the implementation of the SANDF Combat Readiness Model (also known as the Effectiveness Model). It utilizes the methods of systems engineering for integrating to higher system levels.

HAPPI. Hierarchical Accounting Planning and Projection Integrator. This generic tool provides for the management of spending against a budget, although it is not restricted to financial modelling. It also allows for dynamically-defined what-if scenarios. We have used this tool to provide the SAN with a Human Resources Budgeting Tool.

Team Expert Choice. This is a commercial tool using the AHP methodology to define value systems. This tool is also able to provide for (anonymous) voting, but does not require it

Technology, Capability and R&D life cycle. We are involved in all life cycle phases of technology, capability and R&D, and provide a service of problem-solving in any of these phases.

Current areas of expertise. We develop expertise in specific areas of expertise as well as specific areas of application. Currently we focus on the following:

Areas of expertise. Combat readiness modeling, data analysis and numerical modeling (including operations research), artificial intelligence, complexity science, conceptual modeling, problem-solving process, systems thinking, decision-making, management and organizational science, simulation.

Areas of application. Maritime warfare paradigms, logistics modeling, human resources modeling, strategic decision support, knowledge management, decision support tools development, maritime surveillance.