Structure of Complex Systems 4c Complexity of Systems (Systems of systems…
Structure of Complex Systems 4c Complexity of Systems
What is a complex system?
A complex system is a network of interconnected entities with a high level of:
intricacy of such connectivity and
Measured in terms of:
Level of difficulty and disorderliness
Clarity of causes and effect relationship (some measure of traceability and sensitivity
Levels of System Complexity
There is a range of right answers
not simple, but still knowable
e.g. car operational system
Causes and effect can only be deduced
not fully knowable, but reasonably predictable
There are no right answers
e.g. Car traffic
easily knowable (understandable) within a short period
Relationship between cause and effect is clear
e.g. car key
neither knowable nor predictable
Causes and effect are unclear
Car traffic (india etc), too complex --> chaotic
Examining the structural hierarchy of systems
Every system is a:
subsystem of a higher-level system and
every subsystem may itself be regarded as a system
above relationships have given rise to "super systems"
questions arises i.e. when is a system a sub-system and a sub-system a system or vice-versa?
subsystem of a city's telephone system, in turn a subsystem of the national telephone system
Hotel and office building switchboards, local lines, called subsystems, and the telephone instruments called "components"
controls etc being subsystems
subsystem of the air transportation system
air traffic control
other elements of the infrastructure in which the airliner operates
the air terminal
Systems of systems (SoSs):
A set of independent systems working together to achieve some common goals. Usually, they operate on a wide area network (WAN) i.e. distributed apart from each order and only share information, data, knowledge etc. There are different types of (SoSs)
Lacks a central management authority
Large-scale behaviour emerges and may be desirable
lacks a centrally agreed upon purpose
This type of SoSs must rely upon relatively invisible mechanisms to maintain it
e.g. Union of South African Universities
Standards are adopted
no central authority to enforce them
agreed upon central purposes
The central players collectively provide some means of enforcing and maintaining standards
the component systems interact more or less voluntarily
e.g. BRICS nations
a designated manager and resources for an SoS
constituent systems retain their independent ownership, objectives, funding, development and sustainment approaches.
have a recognized objectives
Changes in the systems are based on collaboration between the SoS and the system.
e.g. Union of African nations
It is centrally managed
The component systems maintain an ability to operate independently,
SoS is built and managed to fulfill specific purposes
normal operational mode is subordinated to the central managed purpose.
e.g. Branches of an Industry spread across nations or cities
e.g. All member states in a confederation
Maier, Sage, Cuppan characteristics
Emergent Behaviour - exhibit additional features as a result of the conglomeration
Evolutionary Development - evolve in goals, vision, strategies
Geographical Distribution - different locations share only information and knowledge
Self-organization - dynamic organizational structure
Managerial Independence of the Individual System
Adaptation - perceives the environment and responds to external changes
Operational Independence of the Individual Systems
What is an Enterprise?
The term "business" is typically used to refer to the function perspectives on the enterprise by its customers (but it may also apply to other stakeholders).
By the "organisation" of an enterprise is strictly meant the construction perspective on the enterprise, thereby disregarding all function perspectives.
The term "enterprise" is used to refer to human cooperatives such as companies, institutes etc, as well as to networks of enterprises.
Complexity of an Enterprise System
Enterprise systems engineering [ESE]
This is the application of systems engineering principles and practices towards developing the individual component systems of the enterprise
This term, with the word "systems" omitted, typically refers to the architecting, development, implementation, and operation of the enterprise as a whole.
Pyramid of system hierarchy