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ENB200 - Introduction to
8/14/2013 GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
Today's engineering, business and scientific environments are characterised by increasing change
There is a pursuit for continual innovation
o Creativity is a necessity. Especially in "hard" disciplines
Scale of societal problems are rising
Increasing need for inter-disciplinary research and a systems approach
COMPLEXITY OF PROBLEMS IS RISING
Moore's Law - a long term trend in the history of computing hardware (number of transistors double
every two years.
All problems require a system's approach for easiest and most informed solution
DEFINITION OF A SYSTEM
A system is a set of connected things or parts forming a complex whole, in particular.
Focuses on the "big picture"
makes it possible to handle increasing complexity and uncertainty
An interdisciplinary mix of project management, business, rational decomposition, requirements
traceability, integration, testing, verification and validation, operations, etc...
A field of engineering that focuses on how to design and manage complex engineering projects over
their life cycles
standardises the flow-down and traceability of specifications for products/systems from customer
requirements through production, operation, and disposal.
needs, Systems Product,
Requirements Engineering sustem, output.
Systems Engineering integrates all the disciplines and speciality groups into a team effort forming a
structured development process that proceeds from concept to production to operation
Considers both Business and Technical needs of all customers with the goal of providing a quality
product that meets the user's needs.
DS 2013 ENGINEERING SYSTEMS (ES)
Engineering systems are a Class of systems characterised by a high-degree of technical complexity, social
intricacy, and elaborate processes, aimed at fulfilling important functions in society. All or many disciplines are
often required for input into developing ES solutions. All can benefit from adopting a systems approach
A class of systems characterised by a high degree of technical complexity, social intricacy and
elaborate processes, aimed at fulfilling important functions in society
All ES operate within a context.
The practice to understand the part only in the context of the whole, interacting with, and adopting
to, its environment .
stemmed from biology
involves socio-technical systems
seen as a way of addressing complex problems and issues
Ackoff (1981) suggested 3 ways in which problems could be addressed. Problems could be:
1. Resolved - Finding an answer that is "good enough" - one that suffices
2. Dissolved - Changing the solution in some way such that the problem
3. Solved - Finding a correct answer to the problem - as in solving a unique
WHY SYSTEMS FAIL?
Requirements are fuzzy and/or change
Problems with indirect effects; Cause and Effect relationships are not linear in a complex system
Lacks focus on operation and management
ENGINEERING SYSTEMS MOVEMENT
Not everything is amendable to the reductionist approach
Some systems only operate as a whole
Parts mutually independent
Measure of difficult in describing and modelling a system (and thus ability to predict)
Corning (1928) suggested complexity generally has 3 attributes:
DS 2013 CONTEXT
the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can
be fully understood and assessed.
Reciprocal action or influence
A part or aspect of something, esp. one that is essential or characteristic to the system.
TYPES AND ANAYSIS OF SYSTEMS
Doesn't have an interaction with its environment
Gets messy or stays the same with time
Not many in the Real world - as everything is effected by its surroundings
Interacts with environment
Able to adapt
True for Engineering Systems
Most real world examples
The study of complex systems helps us recognise and understand indirect effects
Pushing on a complex system "here" has effects "over there"
Notion that "Everything is related"
Best way to relies what the interdependence of a system's part is to take the part out and see what
the effect it has on the whole system.
Recognising that these different behaviours exist in an important part of characterising all of the
systems we are interested in
A requirement is a singular documented need of what a particular product, service, or system should
be or perform. It is a statement that identifies a necessary quality of a system in order for it to have
value and utility to a user
BEWARE OF ANY ASSUMPTIONS
DS 2013 MANAGING REQUIREMENTS
Decomposition techniques create "chucks" that can be handled by design teams and eventually by
System's engineering fails for LARGE-SCALE COMPLEX, SOCIOTECNICAL SYSTEMS.
some system poses properties and do not behave from examination of their parts in isolation E.g.
Try to explain the unpredictable
Whole systems exhibit emergent properties, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
EMERGENCE RELATED TERMS
Synergy The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Indivisibility Not possible to observe and understand each part in isolation
Fractals same thing inside the thing but smaller
Self - similarity There are many systems contain replicas of themselves on smaller scales
Self-Organizing Patterns can form from control (top-down) or from interaction (bottom-
Evolution Changes with time
complex systems evolve sometimes