Definition of SoS

What is SOS?

  • Two or more systems that are separately defined but operate together to perform a common goal.    – Checkland 1999, “Systems Thinking, Systems Practice” (citation: 9099)
  • SoS applies to a system of interest whose system elements are themselves systems; typically these entail large scale inter‐disciplinary problems with multiple, heterogeneous, distributed systems.      – INCOSE 2012, “Systems Engineering Handbook: A Guide for System Life Cycle Processes and Activities” (citation: 160)
  • SoS is an assemblage of components which individually may be regarded as systems and which possesses two additional properties. operational independence of the components and managerial Independence of the components.     – Maier 1998, “Architecting Principles for Systems-of-Systems(citation: 1091)
  • Not all SoS will exhibit all of the characteristics, but it is generally assumed that a SoS is characterized by exhibiting a majority of the Maier Criteria.    SEBok wiki (“Guide to the System Engineering Body of Knowledge”, INCOSE project)

 

  • Maier’s two criteria
    • Operational independence of the CSs
    • Managerial independence of the CSs

 

  • Maier’s five characteristics for SoS
    • Operational independence of the CSs
    • Managerial independence of the CSs
    • Geographical distribution
    • Emergent behavior
    • Evolutionary development processes