System of systems: Power and paradox

  • Simpson J
  • Dagli C
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Systems concepts and artifacts provide the basis for enumerable sources of power and wealth in our modern world. Culture, art and science all are based on established systems of behavior, values and thought. The current environment is densely populated with physical system artifacts that are used in every aspect of human life. The ubiquitous nature of existing systems has generated a strong interest in using an existing set of systems as the basis for a system of systems. Further interest in the system-of-systems approach is stimulated by rapid development, deployment and expansion of new and existing systems. While successful system and system-of-systems production provides the basis of great power, many system development activities result in failure. The paradox is that while many individual systems work well as a single system, they fail when incorporated as a component of a system of systems. Successful system-of-systems characteristics and attributes are explored in this paper.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Paradox
  • System
  • System abstraction frame
  • System abstraction stack
  • System failure
  • System of systems
  • System success

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