Title: SoS thinking: an approach to conceptualising and understanding military systems-of-systems

Authors: Pin Chen; Mark Unewisse

Addresses: Defence Science and Technology, Department of Defence, Australia ' Defence Science and Technology, Department of Defence, Australia

Abstract: Systems-of-systems (SoS) are acknowledged as an engineering challenge for defence organisations, due to high complexity of various military SoS and their development processes. Challenges in achieving a clear and shared understanding of SoS problems and difficulties in managing complexity have undermined not only application effectiveness of architectural approaches and SoS methodologies, but also quality of their outcomes. This paper introduces SoS thinking that offers a language and process to effectively conceptualise, understand, communicate about and assess military SoS. Based on the proposed critical thinking in multi-dimensions, high complexity of SoS problems can be explored, contextualised and addressed through using a set of SoS lenses in a number of important aspects, including the engineering factor, diversity, relationships, design paradigm, development states and technical statuses.

Keywords: system-of-systems; SoS; SoS thinking; SoS engineering; SoSE; military SoS; complexity; categorisation; interdependency; development states; technical status; SoS design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSE.2017.083939

International Journal of System of Systems Engineering, 2017 Vol.8 No.1, pp.74 - 101

Received: 09 Jun 2016
Accepted: 23 Dec 2016

Published online: 26 Apr 2017 *

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