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Modeling and Simulation Support for System of Systems Engineering Applications by Andreas Tolk, Larry B. Rainey

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Chapter 4An Approach for System of Systems Tradespace Exploration

Adam M. Ross and Donna H. Rhodes

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

4.1 INTRODUCTION

Tradespace exploration (TSE) is a technique for evaluating a large number of alternatives in order to generate knowledge and insights into trade-offs, including costs and benefits. For a traditional system, key architectural trade-offs are made in the initial phase of the life cycle. While also true for system of systems (SoS), architecting continues throughout its operational lifespan. As a result, TSE can be a useful tool to support System of Systems Engineering (SoSE) for the ever-evolving SoS.

Architecting SoS is more complex than traditional systems. Managerial and operational independence of constituent systems, as well as the dynamic, time-dependent composition of the SoS, presents significant decision challenges. Several heuristics and guidelines proposed in the literature support architectural decision making (Maier, 1998; Keating et al., 2003). However, the ability to quantitatively compare SoS architecture alternatives, taking into account specific SoS considerations, largely remains a challenge.

Since SoS change over time, in order to quantify the particular strengths and weaknesses of an SoS, you should consider many possible alternative instances of that SoS. The approach to system of systems tradespace exploration (SoS TSE) we describe in this chapter is a promising model-based quantitative approach ...

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