RDECOM Workshop Materials

DoD Systems Engineering Guide for System of Systems | April 4                               

Instructor: Jo Ann Lane   Modern systems are being engineered and integrated into an evolving SoS context of existing and planned systems.  Recent observations indicate that most Department of Defense (DoD) systems belong to one or more SoSs.  Current SoSE research has primarily focused on a descriptive approach, capturing experiences and lessons learned from existing DoD SoSs.  The DoD recently sponsored the development systems engineering guidance for SoSs based on recent research and case study analyses.  The result was the  Systems engineering guide for system of systems, version 1.0.  Research is continuing with respect to SoSE engineering artifacts and test and evaluation (T&E).    The objective of this course/workshop is to provide an overview of the DoD guidance with respect to SoS, articulate the differences between SE for single systems and SoSE, and promote an understanding of how engineering and integration activities must be synchronized to develop and improve cross-cutting SoS capabilities.  Participants will study and discuss DoD SoS guidance and related engineering principles, artifacts, and best practices using recent literature and case studies.
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Instructors: Alex Gorod, Brian Sauser, and Mo Mansouri              

The discipline of systems engineering (SE) provides us with necessary engineering and management guidance to successfully design and develop a complex system rather than focus on its separate individual components. However, due to the rapidly increasing complexity of today's dynamic environment, we face the need to engineer multiple integrated complex systems. In response to this emerging paradigm shift, a new discipline of System of Systems Engineering (SoSE) has evolved.  This workshop presents a retrospective view of SoSE's increasing body of knowledge and practice, covering major contributions from both industry and academia. It also provides a detailed comparative analysis of SoSE vs SE.

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System of Systems Case Studies | April 6
Instructors: Alex Gorod, Mo Mansouri, and Brian Sauser

This workshop aims to enhance learning about system of systems engineering principles and practices through case study research. Several System of Systems (SoS) case studies from various industries will be examined in the workshop. The purpose is to explore and promote existing and new research describing a SoS Engineering process, situation or problem. The main objective is to set a platform, through which analysis, knowledge application and conclusion drawing take place in order to engineer better systems of tomorrow.
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The credit crisis of 2008 revealed the deep interconnection of the US financial system and how the failure of one major institution could easily affect and destabilize multiple financial markets.  The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2009 had global effects because of the major interdependence between this company and multitude of other financial service companies.  This crisis shows the need for engineering models that capture the vulnerability, or the systemic risk, of the global financial system, as well as domain models for national and regional components of it. This workshop will emphasize the knowledge gained from these types of events to better understand system of system and a network perspective of the study of systemic risk.


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Governance of Enterprise Systems and System of Systems | April 20

Instructors: Mo Mansouri and Ali Mostashari

Traditional systems engineering techniques must be adapted to understand a broader class of human designed systems that we refer to as an enterprise, of which a technical system is only one part.   Students will learn how to describe the value of systems engineering on complex projects, provide a (common) global view of the system and enterprise, elicit and write good requirements, and understand how to develop robust and efficient architectures. Students should complete this class with "next steps" knowledge of tools, templates, capability patterns, and community.  Case studies and examples are used throughout to give students an appreciation of how systems engineering tools, techniques, and thinking can be applied to the real world enterprises that we encounter daily.

Instructor: Ali Mostashari  

In this workshop students are exposed to the fundamentals of modeling complex dynamic enterprise processes, including those with extensive feedback loops and delays. The workshop will provide a conceptual introduction to causal loop diagrams, stocks and flow modeling and introduce students to the field of Systems Dynamics. In-class hands-on exercises using VenSim PLE as a modeling platform will allow students to explore the capabilities of Systems Dynamics in analyzing complex problems in enterprise system of systems.

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Instructors: Alex Gorod, Mo Mansouri, and Brian Sauser
Modeling and Simulation (M&S) plays an important role in systems engineering and is fundamental to successful design, development and management of systems, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of the system behavior and its environment by extracting patterns and testing hypotheses. Traditionally, we tend to use a unified legacy approach to M&S of all types of systems. However, given the rapidly growing complexity and dynamic nature of system of systems, this strategy may no longer be applicable. This workshop will serve as an introduction to a dynamic, portfolio-based approach, which would allow system of systems engineers to select an appropriate M&S method or a blend of methods to model systems of systems. The approach is based on the review of the widely recognized M&S paradigms and the identified typology of systems.   

Systemic Media for System of Systems |  April 18                                                                        

Instructors: John Boardman and Brian Sauser

If a System of Systems (SoS) is a system, and it surely must be, then why should it not be designed and engineered just like any other system (of sub-systems or parts for example)? The thing about sub-systems and parts is that they owe their existence to the system to which they belong. They have no other reason to exist. Belonging is what they do. In the case of the SoS, its constituents are systems in their own right and this raises the question of how good a system is at belonging. To what? And why? The primary feature of a system is autonomy, it's reason for existing. Therefore in the matter of SoSE their needs to be a role reversal whereby for the constituent systems there is a trade-off of autonomy and belonging, and for the SoS there is a need to be part of that mediation.   This workshop will apply systems thinking to this mediation. It will introduce the Conceptagon, a tool box of systems concepts which apply universally to all systems, and the systemigram, a graphical framework for articulating and harmonizing multiple stakeholder views. Students will gain familiarity with these concepts and tools and apply them to a specific System of Interest (SoI) having been shown a case study, for example the IED problem. Working in groups, students will then present the results of their applied systems thinking in class with the audience playing the roles of stakeholders with particular perspectives on the SoI. This exercise will reveal the utility of systemic media in SoSE.
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Introduction to Architectural Frameworks, and to the DODAF |  May 2


Instructors: Michael zur Muehlen
Enterprise Architecture covers the creation of analytical or prescriptive models of organizations to understand, manage, or change the enterprise. The models that describe different architecture facets are typically organized according to the views they describe, such as process, data, rules and organization models, among others. For organizations that engage in multiple architecture projects, a systematic organization of these views is essential; only if the views and their representations are consistent across different projects can an organization efficiently identify organizational and technical interfaces, streamline cross-functional operations, and assert compliance to rules and regulations. The Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) has recently been updated to Version 2.0. The major change in this version is an underlying taxonomy that is designed to capture common architecture information across programs or projects. The challenge for users of this framework is the sheer magnitude of it: 53 architecture perspectives and 80+ types of data that should be maintained. No matter which framework applies to a given situation, users need guidance on where to start their architecture development, how to ensure the development of relevant, high quality architecture products, and how to keep focused on the design purpose of the architecture. This presentation shows how a vocabulary-driven, process-oriented approach can help users systematically grow high quality architecture.  

Instructors: Robert Cloutier
According to Sauser and Boardman, the principle differentiation between a system and a SoS is the focus on the nature of a system's composition. This workshop will look at MBSA and MBSA for SoS. What, if any, are the differences in the approaches and mindset. What are some of the tools that might be used to "reason about the problem, and communicate with others".   

Describing architectures in the context of known and understood patterns should foster better and more consistent understanding across the many stakeholder communities. What are patterns and reference architectures? How do we use them? Can they really save us time and effort? This workshop will delve into these questions.