Conference Paper – A Fuzzy Evaluation Method for System of Systems Meta-Architectures

Title: A Fuzzy Evaluation Method for System of Systems Meta-Architectures

Publication Date: 3/19/2013

Conference: 11th Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research


A method is proposed for evaluating a range of System of Systems (SoS) meta-architecture alternatives. SoS are composed through combination of existing, fully functioning Systems, possibly with minor functional changes, but certainly by using the combined Systems to achieve a new capability, not available from the Systems alone. The meta-architecture describes how all possible subsets of Systems can be combined to create an SoS. The fitness of a realizable SoS architecture may be characterized by terms such as unacceptable, marginal, above average, or excellent. While these terms provide little information about the SoS when used alone and informally, they readily fit into fuzzy membership sets that overlap at their boundaries. More descriptive attributes such as “ease of use,” which might depend on individual user and a set of conditions, “mission effectiveness” over a particular suite of missions, and “affordability,” which may change over time with changing business climate, etc., lend themselves readily to fuzzy evaluation as well. An approach to defining the fuzzy concepts and establishing rule sets to provide an overall SoS evaluation for many sets of participating individual Systems represented by the meta-architecture is discussed. An application of the method is discussed within the framework of developing and evaluating a hypothetical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) SoS capability.