Assessing the Impact of Development Disruptions and Dependencies in Analysis of Alternatives of System-of-Systems
Enterprises and System of Systems
Report Number: SERC-2012-TR-035-1
Publication Date: 2012-12-31
Project: System of Systems Analytic Workbench
Dr. Daniel DeLaurentis
Dr. Karen Marais
The development of a System-of-Systems (SoS) remains a highly challenging endeavor due to the complex interdependencies between systems that often times exhibit managerial and operational independence, yet, must work cohesively to achieve an overarching set of capabilities. Current guidelines set forth by the Department of Defense SoS System Engineering guide presents SoS SE as a set of seven core elements which are connected to the 16 technical and management processes in the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG). This guide, however, and subsequent frameworks (such as the Wave Model), are meant to raise awareness of the key issues and products involved. A need exists to create and mature decision support tools to support the decision making process of evolving SoS architectures; this includes the need for properly assessing the impact that potential disruptions can have, and the analysis of alternatives of SoS constructs.
Trades between capability and risk are essential decisions that must be addressed for SoS capability planning. Existing tools for such trades, where they exist, can be ineffective and non-intuitive when size and/or interdependency complexity is high. These features create a tradeoff space between development risk and capability potential of a system. The objective of RT-36 was to explore analytical methods to quantify the impact of system interdependencies in the context of SoS capability development and use this to guide system engineering activity for SoS. A variety of approaches are investigated to provide a means to conduct analysis of alternatives while navigating the decision space that simultaneously considers the potential positive impacts of interdependencies (e.g., SoS capability) as well as the negative impacts (e.g. consequences of disruption in development).
The research in RT-36 centered on seven analytical methods that have been adapted to support SoS architecting decisions and systems engineering of constituent systems. Since no single method or tool can fulfill all technical and managerial needs, the exploration of methods in this report use generic forms of problems faced by practitioners, focusing on inputs, outputs, and limitations in the context of support for the “Wave” model for SoS architectural evolutions. The methods explored in this report show great promise in term of supporting practitioners in performing relevant analysis and evolutions of SoS architectures; these methods will be further matured and enhanced in follow-up research work under RT-44.