Assessing the Impact of Development Disruptions and Dependencies in System-of-Systems
Enterprises and System of Systems
Report Number: SERC-2014-TR-035-4
Publication Date: 2014-11-30
Project: System of Systems Analytic Workbench
Dr. Daniel DeLaurentis
Dr. Karen Marais
The development of a ‘System of Systems (SoS)’ capability, generating by the collaboration among otherwise independently managed systems, presents significant challenges across technical, operational and programmatic dimensions. Trades between cost, schedule, performance, and the associated spectrum of risks, are essential during analysis of alternatives for both individual systems and the SoS architecture as a whole. The large number of decision variables involved, ubiquitous uncertainty, and complex interactions between systems creates analysis problems that go well beyond the immediate mental faculties of decision-makers. Therefore, the decisions made often focus on localized development at the system level with little consideration for cascading effects within the larger SoS. Hence, the process of evolving SoS architectures requires tailored tools that provide the SoS systems engineer (or architect) with meaningful insights supported by quantitative analysis. In the defense arena, existing guidance for such trades have been provided by policies set forth in the Defense Acquisitions Guidebook (DAG) (5000 series) and the System Engineering Guide for System of Systems (SoS - SE). However, this guidance lacks an analytic perspective towards more informed decision-making.
This report discusses a multidisciplinary effort in FY14, funded by the DoD's Systems Engineering research Center (SERC), to establish an analytic workbench of computational tools to facilitate better-informed decision-making about SoS architectures. The work is motivated by the aforementioned needs and presumes the existence of SoS practitioners that have relevant information and archetypal questions that reflect desired outcomes at the SoS level. These archetypal, technically-driven queries are mapped to relevant methods in the workbench that can provide analytical outputs to directly support SoS architecture (and system acquisition) decisions. The applicability and respective value-added of each method in addressing various archetypal questions are presented in this report.
Work under this SERC Research task (RT-108) builds upon our earlier efforts (under RT-44b, RT36)
and extends the theoretical underpinnings and practical applicability of a suite of methods
used to support decision-making in evolving SoS architectures. The latter objective addressing
applicability has been advance during the project period by initiation of pilot studies with DoD
entities that have expressed need for just such a workbench. These pilot activities are
instrumental in pursuit of the goal to reduce the complexities of decision-making in SoS
environments that typically overwhelm even the most capable team.