Date of Original Version
Abstract or Description
The concept of a system of systems (SoS) has become very popular over the last decade, resulting in books, conferences, technical papers, and reports. However, there is no consensus as to exactly what the term means, and it has been given many different, though related, definitions. This technical note identifies and describes the characteristics that have been used in various definitions of the term system of systems. These SoS characteristics vary along corresponding scales and can form the basis of corresponding "meters" that serve as indicators of where a system lies along the associated scale. This technical note also discusses two other classes of system characteristics: quality characteristics and programmatic characteristics and how similar meters can be used to describe where systems lie along the scales associated with these two additional sets of system characteristics. Finally, this technical note discusses the various benefits of using these system of systems characteristics to profile systems.