What is a System of Systems?

A System of Systems (SoS) is a collection of independent systems, integrated into a larger system that delivers unique capabilities. The independent constituent systems collaborate to produce global behaviour that they cannot produce alone. Systems of Systems is becoming a topic of increasing interest. The SoS working group has been implementing a set of activities including monthly global webinars and a special issue of INSIGHT, the INCOSE Practitioners’ Magazine, focused on SoS to support information exchange on systems engineering for SoS.

What is the Systems of Systems Primer?

The SoS Primer is intended to reach a broader audience. The primer will serve as an effective introduction to the SoS area, while also providing a roadmap for the reader on where to find additional information.

Why should I care about Systems of Systems?

Many systems engineers (SEs) work in an SoS context at some time during their careers – perhaps without even realising it. This could be as an SE in a constituent system, or directly working on the SoS functionality itself. SoS contexts are associated with specific challenges, and the existence of the SoS places long-term, evolving requirements on each of the constituents. Without an awareness of the wider SoS context, engineers on separate constituent systems run the risk that their system will struggle to meet operational requirements in the long term, even if it currently meet its immediate requirements.

When will the Systems of Systems Primer be available? 

The INCOSE SoS Primer will be launched at the INCOSE International Symposium in July 2018 and available to all attendees of this event. It will be available for free download from the INCOSE Store approximately two weeks after the Symposium.

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