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System of Systems and Emergence. Part 1: Principles and Framework

Karcanias, N. & Hessami, A. G. (2011). System of Systems and Emergence. Part 1: Principles and Framework. In: Proceedings of ICETET 2011. 4th International Conference on Emerging Trends in Engineering and Technology (ICETET), 18-11-2011 - 20-11-2011, Port Louis, Mauritius.


The paper is in two parts and in Part (1) attempts to formalise the loose concept of "System of Systems" (SoS) within the context of Systems Theory whilst in Part (2) explores and develops a conceptual framework for emergence that is suitable for further development. We view the notion of SoS as an evolution of the standard notion of systems and provide an abstract and generic definition that is detached from the particular domain. To achieve this we deal first with the abstraction of the fundamental components of the system, describe the different aspects of the structure of a composite system and then embark on the task to explain the difference of the new notion, to the standard notion of Composite Systems. We present a new abstract definition of the notion of System of Systems as an evolution of the notion of Composite Systems, empowered by the concept of autonomy and participation in tasks referred to as plays which are usually linked to games. The notion of the play is introduced as an extension of the notion of the system and involves the notion of autonomous agents in place of objects and the notion of scenario in place of interconnection topology. This new definition characterises SoS as a development of the Composite System notion where now the subsystems act as autonomous intelligent agents in a multi-agent system play based on a scenario that possibly involves a game. The notion of emergence is considered within both the framework of Composite and SoS and it is linked to the problem of defining functions on a given system and evaluating their values. The emergence is thus presented as the defining signature of a system including System of Systems.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: © 2011 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Publisher Keywords: Emergence, Complex Systems, Composite Systems, System of Systems
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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