Forthcoming articles


International Journal of System of Systems Engineering


These articles have been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication in IJSSE, but are pending final changes, are not yet published and may not appear here in their final order of publication until they are assigned to issues. Therefore, the content conforms to our standards but the presentation (e.g. typesetting and proof-reading) is not necessarily up to the Inderscience standard. Additionally, titles, authors, abstracts and keywords may change before publication. Articles will not be published until the final proofs are validated by their authors.


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International Journal of System of Systems Engineering (10 papers in press)


Regular Issues


  • An LMI approach to design robust H_infinity controller for 2-D systems with delays   Order a copy of this article
    by Khalid Badie, Zakaria Chalh, Alfidi Mohammed 
    Abstract: This paper focuses on $H_{infty}$ controller design for two-dimensional (2-D) discrete state delay systems described by the second Fornasini-Marchesini local state space (FM LSS) model with polytopic uncertainties. The objective is to design a robust state feedback controller such that the corresponding closed-loop system achieves robust asymptotic stability and guarantees a prescribed $H_{infty}$ performance index for all admissible uncertainties. Based on parameter-dependent Lyapunov functions and Finsler's lemma, a new sufficient condition for $H_{infty}$ performance analysis of 2-D discrete systems with delays is developed. Then a stabilizing state feedback controller is designed. A simulation example is exploited to show the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
    Keywords: 2-D state-delayed systems; State feedback; $H_{infty}$ performance; polytopic uncertainties.

  • Hypergraph Restructuration for the Supervision of System of Systems   Order a copy of this article
    by Hamza Cherif Bouchaour, Hafid Haffaf 
    Abstract: This article focuses on the ability of System of Systems (SoS) to cope with failures of one of its constituents. The aim is to avoid the collapse of the whole system. To find a new state of the operation, we introduce a hypergraphic model-based supervision framework dedicated to SoS. It involves two main steps named the modelling and the reconfiguration. Our main objective is to reduce computational complexity of the supervision procedure. For the modelling part, given the high density of connections of the hypergraph representing SoS, we propose to decompose this model by means of the hypergraph tree-based acyclicity property. The latter yields a resolution of the problem in linear time. For the reconfiguration part, we introduce a new subgraph isomorphism procedure enhanced by a filtering function. The lens is to deal with the hypergraphs constraints of complexity induced by such method. Finally, constraint programming method, and according to solver approaches, some models are implemented.
    Keywords: SoS; hypergraph; constraint satisfaction; acyclicity; subgraph isomorphism; computational complexity.

  • Multi-objective multi-customer project network: Visualizing interdependencies and influences   Order a copy of this article
    by Frank Stumpe, Polinpapilinho Katina 
    Abstract: Project management methods involve elements planning, organizing and managing the effort to accomplish successful projects. Such activities produce specific outputs. However, there is a lack of model visually describing project level interdependencies and influences in portfolios. The aim of this paper was to extend previous research (Stumpe and Katina, 2017) by developing a visualization approach for dependencies in a multi-objective multi-customer project. Using a network analysis tool, NodeXL different nodes and project node-node dependencies are developed based a case study. The rules for developing a network are the basis for the model. After model construction, which involves key performance indicators as well as internal and external disturbances, a case study involving over 1000 projects is analyzed. We found that soft and hard links in the project can be explained using meme theory. Finally, the research concludes with research implications as well as potential research directions.
    Keywords: complex system governance; hard-linked dependency; key performance indicators; multi-objective project; NodeXL; project network; project portfolio; system modelling.

  • A System of Systems Architecture for the Internet of Things exploiting Autonomous Components   Order a copy of this article
    by Basil Nikolopoulos, Alexandros Dimopoulos, Mara Nikolaidou, George Dimitrakopoulos, Dimosthenis Anagnostopoulos 
    Abstract: As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more popular, supporting systems and their components become more complex and largely heterogeneous. This paper discusses on a System of Systems (SoS) architecture for IoT systems composed by autonomous components. The proposed architecture focuses on a middleware transforming sensor services to REST services, for the development of mixed-criticality applications. The middleware consisting of autonomous aggregation software running on commodity multi-core devices, such as Raspberry Pi. Self-management policies applied are discussed in the paper. The analysis of a smart building system, developed as a use case, provides solid evidence that such an architecture is realistic and can lead to highly competitive systems.
    Keywords: IoT; SoS; Edge Devices; Aggregation Software; Autonomous components; self-management policies.

  • A satisfactory multi-agent single-machine considering a cross-docking terminal   Order a copy of this article
    by Mohammadbagher Afshar-Bakeshloo, Fariborz Jolai, Mostafa Mazinani, Reza Tavakkoli-Moghaddam 
    Abstract: This study addresses a two-agent single-machine scheduling problem; whose objectives are to maximize the agents service levels regarding their desired time windows. Indeed, this is a new variant of multi-agent scheduling problems that agents time windows are taken into account. Proposing a useful dashboard to determine optimal sequences of the jobs is essential since all the jobs (i.e., agents demands) are characterized by unequal release dates, due dates, and deadlines. Employing this dashboard, the decision maker tries to provide a schedule based on a specific level of services for each agent. A cross-dock terminal with multi-inbound door and one-outbound door is an excellent example of the proposed model. Here, the decision maker (i.e., dispatcher) schedules the jobs so that each agent gets a pre-determined level of satisfaction. This problem is formulated with a mixed-integer linear programming model considering a piecewise linear function. The results show that the optimally non-dominated solutions can be obtained by the CPLEX whenever n<20. In contrast, for n>20, exploitation of the heuristics becomes essential. The results show that the multi-objective imperialist competitive algorithm (MOICA) performs better than the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II) and multi-objective invasive weed optimization (MOIWO). Furthermore, substitution of the service level for tardiness is demonstrated to be a more reasonable measure for customer satisfaction, precisely when the agents announce their desired time windows.
    Keywords: Multi-agent single-machine scheduling; Tardiness; Time window; Customer satisfaction; MOICA; Cross-dock terminal.

    by Shelley Jules-Plag, Jarutpong Vasuthanasub, Adrian Gheorghe 
    Abstract: Risk and risk governance of critical infrastructure has been well studied. Resilience governance however is still in the process of identifying suitable approaches. Assessments of resilience are often based on value perspectives and impacted by social constructs, making it difficult to fit a singular approach to resilience governance, creating a wicked problems for decision makers. The paper looks at the steps utilized in Risk Informed Decision Making (RIDM) and their applicability to Resilience Informed Decision Making (ReIDM), identifying benefits and limitations. It proposes a framework to address the process-oriented approach needed for ReIDM. To demonstrate the framework we utilize a number of risk assessment methodologies, and a simple time-dependent game play simulation SimCityTM model to explore the manifestation of infrastructure development strategies over time, illustrating the importance of tools that facilitate insight into the domino effects of alternative approaches and mitigation strategies to resilience governance.
    Keywords: Serious Gaming; Simulation Computer Game; SimCity Application; Risks and Vulnerability; Critical Infrastructures Resilience; Resilience Governance; Resilient Informed Decision Making Process.

  • A Complex Structure Representation of the US Critical Infrastructure Protection Program based on the Zachman Framework   Order a copy of this article
    by Unal Tatar, Bilge Karabacak, Polinpapilinho Katina, Andy Igonor 
    Abstract: Critical infrastructures are vital assets for public safety, economic welfare or national security of countries. The importance of critical infrastructures necessitates state-level coordination of security efforts based on some rigid policies, strategies, and procedures. This hierarchical set of rules is collectively referred to as the Critical Infrastructure Protection Program (CIPP). As the pioneer of CIPP, the United States (US) has a very complex program in which partners and stakeholders have multiple and varied interacting roles and responsibilities. The complexity of roles and interactions creates a need to make a representation of these complex structures by using intuitive tools. The Zachman Framework is such a tool that provides a formal and structured way of viewing and defining a complex enterprise. It is represented by a 6x6 matrix with rows defining stakeholders and columns defining underlying interrogatives. In this article, a proof-of-concept study is performed to represent the US CIPP using the Zachman Framework. The proof-of-concept study showed that the Zachman Framework could be beneficial in overcoming challenges of a CIPP program which can be regarded as a complex enterprise.
    Keywords: Critical Infrastructure Protection Program; Cyber Security; Roles and Responsibilities; Stakeholders; Enterprise Architecture; Zachman Framework; System of Systems.

Special Issue on: Soft Operations Research Methods for Complex Systems

  • Categorizing and clustering knowledge in Fuzzy Cognitive Maps   Order a copy of this article
    by Alexander Metzger, Steven Gray, Ellen Douglas, Paul Kirshen, Nardia Haigh 
    Abstract: The literature on managing environmental hazards in complex human-natural systems increasingly acknowledges the importance of integrating diverse stakeholder mental models into decision-making. Participatory Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping (FCM) provides an effective tool in this process, as it allows representation of mental models as complex causal networks that aid in the study of knowledge and understandings. While most participatory FCM research has studied mental model variation using graph theory and other structural metrics, our goal is to demonstrate a generalizable approach for analyzing perspectives and content. We use a novel method of knowledge categorization to identify variation among stakeholder mental models and explore its implications for social learning and collaboration. In our case study of flood managers in Boston, Massachusetts, our findings include identification of knowledge gaps, differing priorities among individuals and across jurisdictional scales and opportunities for learning and collaboration.
    Keywords: soft systems; fuzzy cognitive mapping; mental models; social-ecological systems; participatory modeling; environmental hazards; flooding; adaptive management; social learning; collaboration; knowledge clustering; knowledge categorization.

  • Systemic Analysis of a Drug Trafficking Mess   Order a copy of this article
    by Nick Sapiano, Patrick Hester 
    Abstract: The United States, in an effort to combat drug trafficking at the federal level, faces an unenviable task. Trying to address this situation involves considerations of drug production, importation, and consumption. The Think-Act-Observe (TAO) approach (Hester & Adams, 2017) provides a multi-methodology for systemically addressing these, and other, complex, interconnected problems. The three stages (Think, Act, Observe) draw on a theoretical foundation of systemic thinking and provide a practical, iterative approach for increasing understanding of the mess under consideration, executing an intervention framework, and analyzing that implementation. This paper presents a practical demonstration of the TAO approach by describing the application of the Think stage and its six constituent perspectives as they pertain to international drug trafficking. After an articulation of the constituent problems of the mess (drug production, importation, and consumption) and their collective stakeholders, the problems are individually subjected to systemic analysis through the perspectives of who, what, why, where, how, and when to build an expanding Fuzzy Cognitive Map; further, the production problem analysis is reported in detail as a case study. These problem-level analyses are then integrated to form a meta-perspective of the drug trafficking mess, which is then utilized in the Act stage to analyze the systemic impact of simulated potential interventions. Recommendations for future action are provided in support of the Observation stage. Armed with these recommendations, problems owners can move forward in an effort to resolve all identified problems in a manner satisfactory to all affected parties.
    Keywords: Systemic thinking; systems analysis; drug trafficking; systems theory; wicked problems; mess.

  • Using rich pictures outside of soft systems methodology: a case study analysis   Order a copy of this article
    by Tessa Berg, Simon Bell, Steve Morse 
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly we will highlight how a problem structuring tool, namely the Rich Picture, is being used across many disciplines outside of the soft system methodology which has historically been its home. Secondly, we highlight the controversial presence of non-conforming Rich Picture research and an apparent reluctance to publish from the systems community. In this paper we provide examples of rich picture research used independent from methodology and focus on one case study that uses a novel method of content analysis to appreciate the significance of the stories within their pictures. We demonstrate the theoretical justification and efficacy of an innovation in the assessment of the Rich Picture and its use as a tool to discern issues of importance across mixed groups. We discuss the responses to this work and the implications for innovation within soft OR research. We propose that the Rich Picture should not be seen as sacrosanct just because it derives from a well-established and much respected methodology. We argue that the Rich Picture can be a flexible space where any practitioner can negotiate shared understanding without methodological constraint.
    Keywords: rich picture; soft systems methodology; SSM; innovation; problem structuring.