Title: Taxonomy of increasingly complex systems

Authors: W. Clifton Baldwin; Wilson N. Felder; Brian J. Sauser

Addresses: Systems Engineering Support Services, Federal Aviation Administration, William J. Hughes Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405, USA ' Federal Aviation Administration, William J. Hughes Technical Center, Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405, USA ' School of Systems and Enterprises, Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030, USA

Abstract: Systems engineers are responsible for systems ranging from the very simple to the extremely complex. The various types of systems create a need for differentiation of properties and identification using some common nomenclature. While other system taxonomies exist, we propose a unique classification mechanism which utilises a finite set of characteristics. Well-defined attributes provide a basis to develop unambiguous mathematical descriptions in future work. Application of the classification scheme will help employ the appropriate systems engineering methodology to systems in development.

Keywords: complex systems; system taxonomies; system attributes; autonomy; belonging; connectivity; taxonomy; systems engineers; properties differentiation; properties identification; common nomenclatures; classification mechanisms; finite characteristics; mathematics; unambiguous descriptions; mathematical descriptions; classification schemes; diversity; emergence; self-organisation; adaptive systems; industrial engineering; systems engineering.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISE.2011.043140

International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, 2011 Vol.9 No.3, pp.298 - 316

Available online: 17 Oct 2011 *

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