A central concern in system of systems engineering is the issue of coordination and interoperability between constituent systems. Special attention has to be given to interoperability with respect to federations of systems, which are coalitions of partner systems with decentralised power and authority. A major challenge in these systems is how to enable large-scale data and service interoperability without centralised management of the system of systems engineering activities. In this paper, we address this challenge by exploring the application of semantic interoperability principles and techniques to system of systems interoperability. Semantic interoperability refers to the ability of systems to share information meaningfully and to engage in meaningful collaborative activities. Subsequently, we propose a service-oriented approach which leverages semantic interoperability techniques to provide capabilities to system of systems constituents, resolve conceptual mismatches between heterogeneous systems, and automate the capability discovery process in a federation of systems.
Keywords: semantic interoperability, semantic mediation, Semantic Web Services, SWSs, federations of systems, system of systems engineering, SoSE