System of Systems Engineering Requirements: Challenges and Guidelines by ProQuest


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									                               System of Systems Engineering
                           Requirements: Challenges and Guidelines
                                          Charles B. Keating, Old Dominion University
                                            Jose J. Padilla, Old Dominion University
                                            Kevin Adams, Old Dominion University

 Abstract: Traditional systems engineering (SE) has been                       A metasystem, comprised of multiple embedded and
 successful in developing requirements that are objective,                     interrelated autonomous complex subsystems that can
 verifiable, and definitive. These requirements are chiefly                    be diverse in technology, context, operation, geography,
 related to technical or technological issues necessary to achieve             and conceptual frame. These complex subsystems must
 a desired level of system performance. In contrast, System of                 function as an integrated metasystem to produce desirable
 Systems Engineering (SoSE) engages a more complex and                         results in performance to achieve a higher-level mission
 holistic problem space, including organizational, managerial,                 subject to constraints.
 policy, human/social, and political dimensions that exist
 in conditions of emergence, ambiguity, and uncertainty;                      From this perspective we might be tempted to conclude that
 therefore, the traditional SE requirements paradigm must                a system of systems is simply an integration of subsystems and
 be called into question. At present, the SoSE requirements              follows established traditional SE approaches to requirements
 paradigm has not reached the level of maturity or sophistication        development. Nothing could be farther from the reality of the
 experienced by traditional SE. It is a miscalculation to expect         SoSE problem domain. As we will develop, this traditional SE
 successful approaches for SE requirements development to                approach, blindly applied to the SoSE problem domain, is based
 enjoy the same level of success when applied directly to the            in muddled thinking and fraught with inconsistencies when
 SoSE problem domain. The purpose of this article is to explore          inappropriately applied to the SoSE problem domain. Since the
 the nature of requirements from an SoSE perspective. First,             problem domain for SoSE is significantly different than that for
 the article establishes a foundation for differences between            traditional systems engineering, our thinking and development
 the SE and SoSE problem domains. Second, the traditional                of requirements must also follow a different path. In this article
 SE paradigm governing requirements is developed. Third,                 we argue for a different understanding of requirements from an
 the specific nature of the SoSE problem domain implications             SoSE perspective.
 for requirements is established. Fourth, guidelines for                      This article is designed to capture essential aspects of
 requirements within SoSE efforts are provided. The article              requirements as they pertain to performance of SoSE. In this
 concludes with key implications for the development and use             article we develop four foundations for elaboration of our
 of requirements in the SoSE field by practitioners.                     discussion on SoSE requirements. Each of these areas is developed
                                                                         as follows: (1) introduction of the chief differences between
 Keywords: System of Systems, System of Systems Engineering,             traditional systems engineering and SoSE, (2) development of a
 Guidelines, Requirements                                                brief background on the nature and role of requirements from a
                                                                         traditional systems engineering perspective, (3) articulate critical
                                                                         distinctions in the SoSE problem domain with implications for
 EMJ Focus Areas: Systems Engineering                                    requirements thinking, and (4) expound preliminary guidance
                                                                         and implications for requirements in SoSE problem domains.

                                                                         Chief Differences—SE and SoSE

                                                                         It is a mistake to assume that (1) SoSE is simply an extrapolation
        he development of requirements is often venerated as one         of SE, with the same paradigm, processes, and methods extensible
        of the most, if not the most, critical aspect on the front       to the new domain, (2) SoSE is so separate and distinct that it
        end of traditional SE. Prevailing SE logic suggests that         cannot find value in the SE domain, or (3) SoSE either subsumes,
everything else flows from requirements; however, from an SoSE           or is subsumed by, traditional SE. While debates around these
perspective, the nature and role of requirements must be viewed          assumptions can be intellectually interesting, we believe the
differently. Just as SoSE is not a direct extrapolation of systems       following three points are relevant to our present purposes.
engineering, so too must the emerging SoSE requirements                  First, distinctions between SoSE and SE are important in order
paradigm offer utility in a field that is related but distinct from      to establish the implications for how we might think about the
traditional SE.                                                          role of requirements. Second, traditional SE has had success with
      The concern of SoSE has been with the design, analysis, and        requirements, and these successes should not arbitrarily be cast
transformation of metasystems (systems of systems) to produce            aside for the SoSE domain without thoughtful consideration.
desirable outcomes. For our present discussion, we default to            Third, there is a relationship between SE and SoSE, no matter how
our earlier perspective of System of Systems (SoS) (Keating et           tenuous. Appreciat
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