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Technical Reports

USC-CSSE-2011-505

Supannika Koolmanojwong, Barry Boehm, "Educating Software Engineers to Become Systems Engineers", Proceedings of the 2011 24th Conference on Software Engineering Education and Training - CSEET, Waikiki, HI (pdf)

Our two-semester USC core software engineering project course CS577ab devotes its first semester to having students learn and do systems engineering on a real-client project. This requires a good deal of just-in-time lectures, tutorials, and homework to prepare the students, and feedback in terms of mentoring, artifact grading, and live milestone reviews to help them succeed. This paper provides some initial motivation and context; discusses our approach to introduce systems engineering into software engineering relative to that in the GSwE 2009 curriculum guidelines, SEBOK draft 2010, and SWEBOK 2004; describes the course practices during the systems engineering and software engineering semesters; and summarizes the project results and conclusions.

Added August 15, 2011


USC-CSSE-2011-504

Indrajeet Dixit, Jo Ann Lane, "Systems Engineering Philosophy: No Easy Answers?", Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference on Systems Engineering (pdf)

Many continue to ask if Systems Engineering is really a discipline and does it have an underlying philosophy. This paper is an attempt to fill the gap in the literature on the philosophical drivers of systems engineering. In doing so, we discuss the philosophy of science, philosophy of technology, and their relationship to systems engineering. We also explore some topical issues relevant to this discussion such as, what is systems engineering, and how can it be better bounded. Our analysis reveals while systems engineering is important to the successful development and evolution of systems, it has some foundational issues resulting in an over-focus on current systems engineering practices. To better advance Systems Engineering, it is important that our research efforts expand to include the overall philosophies that support systems engineering and that we more broadly research systems engineering to include multi-disciplinary principles and properties as well as innovation.

Added May 2, 2011


USC-CSSE-2011-503

Jo Ann Lane, Ricardo Valerdi, "System Interoperability Influence on System of Systems Engineering Effort", Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research (pdf)

An important characteristic of a System of Systems (SoS) is interoperability among its constituent systems. It enables the flow of information and the seamless introduction of new systems into the SoS. But interoperability comes at a price. Current studies indicate that there is significant engineering effort involved in making systems interoperable. However, this feature is not adequately represented in current cost models. To characterize and quantify the interoperability (or non-interoperability) influence on SoS engineering effort, this paper analyzes 14 interoperability models and presents two approaches that can be used as an extension to the COSYSMO or COSYSMO for SoS cost models.

Added May 2, 2011


USC-CSSE-2011-502

Barry Boehm, Jo Ann Lane, Raymond Madachy, "Total Ownership Cost Models for Valuing System Flexibility", CSER 2011 (pdf)

A significant challenge in systems engineering and acquisition is to justify investments in system flexibility as opposed to buying more features or copies of a less-flexible systems.  The Total Ownership Cost (TOC) has the advantages of having clear cause-effect relationships that are easy to understand and reason about.  We present two TOC models for valuing flexibility that have been calibrated to project data.  One is for a single system; the other is for a family of systems.  We also illustrate the use of TOC in acquisition decision situations, and discuss areas for further research in extending the models.

Added February 28, 2011


USC-CSSE-2011-501

Barry Boehm, "Some Future Software Engineering Opportunities and Challenges", In Sebastian Nanz (Ed.): The Future of Software Engineering, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2011, pp. 1-32 (pdf)

This paper provides an update and extension of a 2006 paper, "Some Future Trends and Implications for Systems and Software Engineering Processes," Systems Engineering, Spring 2006.  Some of its challenges and opportunities are similar, such as the need to simultaneously achieve high levels of both agility and assurance.  Others have emerged as increasingly important, such as the challenges of dealing with ultralarge volumes of data, with multicore chips, and with software as a service.  The paper is organized around eight relatively surprise-free trends and two "wild cards" whose trends and implications are harder to foresee.  The eight surprise-free trends are:

1.  Increasing emphasis on rapid development and adaptability;
2.  Increasing software criticality and need for assurance;
3.  Increased complexity, global systems of systems, and need for scalability and interoperability;
4.  Increased needs to accommodate COTS, software services, and legacy systems;
5.  Increasingly large volumes of data and ways to learn from them;
6.  Increased emphasis on users and end value;
7.  Computational plenty and multicore chips;
8.  Increasing integration of software and systems engineering;
        The two wild-card trends are:
9.  Increasing software autonomy; and
10.  Combinations of biology and computing.

Added August 24th, 2010


USC-CSSE-2011-500

Alan Levin, "Engineering Adaptable Systems: State of The Art" (pdf)

As part of the Systems 2020 Strategic Initiative we reviewed selected recent research in complex adaptive systems that could be used to increase speed, flexibility and adaptability. Based on our review and analysis, engineering adaptable systems was identified as a key element in providing capability on demand—the ability to adapt fielded systems to unforeseen internal and external contingencies.

Added January 31st, 2011


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