Combining design and strategy in offshore shipping
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This paper presents the design-strategy planning (DSP) procedure as a framework that integrates life cycle strategies of a ship into the early stages of the design process. We argue that understanding strategic, tactical, and operational aspects is essential when it comes to design of complex systems under uncertainty. Unfortunately, these are often neglected in ship design today. Using a Markov Decision Process Methodology, we demonstrate the insight gained from the concurrent exploration of system configurations and strategies, to better understand what to do when in the operational phase of the lifecycle. A case study is presented, where different tactical strategies of an offshore vessel are characterized. The results indicate that there are significant advantages in explicitly addressing ship owner strategy through DSP, when designing offshore support vessels that may be reconfigured in their lifetime.