Inderscience Publishers

Prevalence of pathologies in systems of systems

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As system of systems engineering (SoSE) continues to mature and evolve as a field, there is a natural search for transcending themes and perspectives. The confluence of these themes and perspectives will serve to both distinguish as well as integrate the field. The purpose of this paper is to suggest advancement of the SoSE field by offering an emerging set of common systems–based pathologies that may be prevalent in systems of systems. These pathologies are explored as deviations from the healthy functioning of an effective system of systems, potentially constraining performance, wasting resources, and reducing the level of system viability (sustaining existence). Upon recognising these pathologies, implications for utilising systems theory–based principles to aid in understanding their manifestation, systemic assessment, and strategies for system redesign to address the pathologies are explored. This paper concludes with implications and further development of research and practice related to pathologies in the developing SoSE field.

Keywords: system of systems engineering, SoSE, system pathologies

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