In this paper, a method is presented for visualizing and understanding the operational dynamics of a shipping operation. The method uses system performance measurement and functional signatures. System performance measurement allows assessors to understand the level of performance that is being achieved by the operation. The functional signatures then provides insight into the functional dynamics that occur for each level of performance. By combining system performance measurement with functional signatures, there is a framework to help understand what levels of performance are being achieved and why certain levels of performance are being achieved. The insight gained from this approach can be helpful in managing shipping operations. Data from an ice management ship simulator is used to demonstrate this method and compare different operational approaches.

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