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Risk in system of systems engineering and management

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  • Systems engineering concepts are directly applicable to the development and integration of management and technological processes that support all of the major lifecycle functions needed to produce high quality and trustworthy systems in a total quality fashion. Information is the glue that holds together such processes as: research and development, test and evaluation (RDT&E); system acquisition; and planning and marketing. Systems management deals with such issues as program and project management, technical direction of development, and quality and configuration management of the evolving system such as to achieve risk management. Risk issues abound in many contemporary systems management situations. Often, these situations emerge from behavior of many independent agents who attempt to achieve both individual organizational objectives and objectives of the larger organizational unit seeking to attain an interoperable system of systems or system family from the efforts of the individual organizations. A complex system of systems will often exhibit evolutionary, emergent, and adaptive behavior when the individual systems are architected, engineered and integrated to achieve the composite system of systems. Of course, evolutionary, emergent, and adaptive behavior may well exist even when systems are not consciously architected, engineered, and integrated. But this behavior may well be not at all desired. Complex adaptive system behavior manifests itself at the level of both the individual system and the composite system family. These changes are generally experienced as emergent or evolutionary processes. It is for this reason that emergence has been defined as system behavior that evolves from interaction of many participants, and cannot be predicted or even envisioned from knowledge of the isolated behavior of each system or each individual design team. Modeling and simulation are essential in the engineering of large systems of all types, especially those that are subject to evolutionary and path dependent results. Whether we are dealing with human-made systems, human systems, or organizational systems; there is a need to organize and manage for complexity, and associated knowledge and enterprise integration, ultimately for the betterment of all concerned. In this paper, we examine these risk management issues for a system of systems, especially one operating in a federated environment.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: 37N99, 90B50, 91B16, 91B30 and 93A15.


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