De Montfort University
Bogumil Ulanicki graduated from Warsaw University of Technology in Poland in 1974 and received PhD in 1979 and DSc 1994 from the same university. Since 1987 he has been working at De Montfort University in Leicester in the UK. Currently he is Head of Centre of Engineering Science and Advanced Systems (CESAS) and Director of the Water Software Systems (WSS) research group. His expertise covers the areas of control and water engineering and IT. He has over 130 publications in world leading journals and refereed conference proceedings mainly in the water distribution systems management area. He is a member of the EPSRC College and acts as an EC projects reviewer. Prof. Ulanicki led 36 major projects of which 17 were research projects 19 contract research projects for the UK and the EU water industry.
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Utility-service provision as an example of a complex system
Volume: 17, Issue 2
Utility–service provision is a process in which products are transformed by appropriate devices into services satisfying human needs and wants. Utility products required for these transformations are usually delivered to households via separate infrastructures, i.e., real-world networks such as, e.g., electricity grids and water distribution systems. However, provision of utility products in appropriate quantities does not itself guarantee that the required services will be delivered because the needs satisfaction task requires not only utility products but also fully functional devices. Utility infrastructures form complex networks and have been analysed as such using complex network theory. However, little research has been conducted to date on integration of utilities and associated services within one complex network. This paper attempts to fill this gap in knowledge by modelling utility–service provision within a household with a hypergraph in which products and services are represented with nodes whilst devices are hyperedges spanning between them. Since devices usually connect more than two nodes, a standard graph would not suffice to describe utility–service provision problem and therefore a hypergraph was chosen as a more appropriate representation of the system. This paper first aims to investigate the properties of hypergraphs, such as cardinality of nodes, betweenness, degree distribution, etc. Additionally, it shows how these properties can be used while solving and optimizing utility–service provision problem, i.e., constructing a so-called transformation graph. The transformation graph is a standard graph in which nodes represent the devices, storages for products, and services, while edges represent the product or service carriers. Construction of different transformation graphs to a defined utility–service provision problem is presented in the paper to show how the methodology is applied to generate possible solutions to provision of services to households under given local conditions, requirements and constraints.