WRT-1009: Model Curation Innovation & Implementation
Systems Engineering and Systems Management Transformation
Report Number: SERC-2020-TR-003
Publication Date: 2020-06-04
Project: Model Curation Innovation and Implementation
Dr. Donna Rhodes
SERC research project WRT-1009 is a continued investigation of model curation as a topic that spans implementation of model curation practice, new roles and responsibilities of individuals and organizations, and approaches to curate models for intended purpose. Knowledge gathering and continued interaction with research stakeholders has furthered the understanding of elements of implementation practice. Criteria for placing models under enterprise-level curation were adapted based on curation in other fields. Preliminary implementation and governance guiding principles were derived from research findings. An exploration of enablers, barriers and precursors for model curation and authoritative source of truth motivated a deeper exploration of model credibility and accreditation. As a result, precursors to credibility were formulated. Several areas of innovation were identified as candidates for use of newer technologies to advance model curation. Six recommendations for future research are identified.
Model Curation can be defined as the lifecycle management, control, preservation and active enhancement of models and associated information to ensure value for current and future use, as well as repurposing beyond initial purpose and context. Curation practices promote formalism and provide for the strategic management and control of models and associated digital artifacts, particularly when managed as a collection at the enterprise level. Curation activities include model governance, accession, acquisition, valuation, preservation, active enhancement, model discovery, deaccessioning, and archiving. Not all models are suitable for enterprise-level curation. Curation applies to longer duration models, rather than those developed for a quick study or to simply work out a problem. A first category of models suitable for curation includes models that will be used throughout the lifespan of a major program, for example models comprising a digital twin. A second category includes models designed (or enhanced) to be intentionally reused for a new purpose and/or within a new context. Examples are reference architectures and models, and “platform” models that enable the enterprise to effectively re-purpose and reuse models. Model curation requires supporting infrastructure to enable an enterprise to establish and actively enhance a collection of models of value to the larger enterprise. As evidenced by curation practice in institutional collections (e.g., museums, historical society, libraries), dedicated leadership, governance and support functions are essential. Prior phase investigation of model curation, especially on organizational aspects, was accomplished in SERC RT-199 (2019).