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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 11Systemigram Modeling for Contextualizing Complexity in System of Systems

Brian Sauser1 and John Boardman2

1 Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA

2 John Boardman Associates, Worcestershire, UK

11.1 INTRODUCTION

Pictures play a key role in our understanding of even the simplest problems, and often, we use pictures, even if within our mind, when describing something with words. We have what some describe as an “inner eye” that allows us to see the scenes that words educe. We will often use these pictures to understand form, function, and structure based on impressions from words. These pictures allow us to make graphical formulations of the links between words and create a representation that we can better understand—a model of the words if you will. With the balance of words and pictures, we can tell a more comprehensive story that can be more universally understood. In solving problems, we use words and pictures to convey meaning. But, when understanding problems, we are confronted by the challenge of unifying multiple perspectives. We need to be able to understand the unstructured problem, with the “big picture” in mind, and appreciate that there are multiple perspectives (with conflicting objectives (Jenkins, 1969)). The inability to effectively do this has been described as a key point of failure in the practice of many complex problems (Ryschkewitsch et al., 2009). Doing this right is what Senge (1990) would define as a “shared ...

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