Toward a theory of complexity escalation and collapse for system of systems

Joseph Bradley, Mahmoud Efatmaneshnik, Mohammadreza Rajabali Nejad

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In this paper we urge the creation of new managerial tools and techniques that are relevant to the complexity of today’s system of systems (SOS). Normal modes of command and control systems cannot be effective under conditions where new constraints are added on a recurrent basis to the system of systems in response to emergent problems within the systems due to increased coupling introduced in component elements of the SOS. We present a first-step understanding of why unanticipated failures find more potential and more pathways to their occurrence when interventions in SOS operations, standards or processes are conducted without enough insight and without a care for basic laws of complexity. We then demonstrate a condition where the incremental changes actually lead to failure of the SOS to meet its performance parameters. We hope that this work set the foundation for exploring the effects of coupling across hierarchical levels of SOS.
Original languageUndefined
Title of host publicationUnknown
Place of PublicationSan Antonio, TX
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2015
Event10th System of Systems Engineering Conference, SoSe 2015 - Hilton Palacio del Rio, San Antonio, United States
Duration: 17 May 201520 May 2015
Conference number: 10


Conference10th System of Systems Engineering Conference, SoSe 2015
Abbreviated titleSoSe
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio


  • METIS-310647
  • IR-96028

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