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Architecture Model for Decision Makers to Better Understand Complex Systems


OBJECTIVE: Develop a Core Architecture Model (CAM) for organizations and decision makers to ingest engineering data to aid in understanding complex systems, improving communications, and ultimately making better decisions. DESCRIPTION: The DoD is currently using a document centric (DoDAF) approach for system architectures. This method limits real-time exchange of changing architecture information and is difficult for decision makers[1] to understand. Furthermore, many modeling tools in DoD are not integrated, resulting in disconnects, re-work, and inconsistencies between program elements. This lack of integration is particularly an issue with system design and architecture tools intended to support system hierarchies, interface analysis, verification and validation, and modeling & simulation activities. Decision makers require a technical framework that enables sound decision making through the use of trade studies, which are used to analyze trade-offs among system performance, risk, cost and schedule. Standardizing a tailorable model driven architecture (MDA) [2] using a common language, such as SysML [3], would be favorable. A MDA enables managers and developers to communicate effectively within their programs and between multiple programs. SysML is a widely used model in the DoD that can produce standard DoDAF views. The Core Architecture Model (CAM) concept is a hierarchical MDA [4] where the CAM is the hub and views such as DoDAF, cost, requirements, risks, etc., as spooks. View elements are connected through the CAM, therefore changes in one view will be updated in other views. Elements in the CAM shall have well defined parameters that the other elements in the CAM or views are concerned with. An element in the CAM can be hierarchical and linked to, for instance M & S tools, to provide more accurate parameter data. This solicitation seeks the creation of a Core Architecture Model (CAM) for space to facilitate architecture development, design, and trade study analysis within and between complex systems. It must keep track of changes and display affected areas as described by the dashboard proposed below. The CAM could utilize a SysML"engine"where engineering data is ingested. A back-end is required to ingest data in several formats and generate SysML. The engineering data could be system descriptions, requirements, risks, cost or any type of data that is used to develop a complex system. The second part of this solicitation is a front end dashboard to SysML, providing decision makers with the ability to"turn the knobs"on a variety of engineer parameters and architecture properties of a complex system and observe second and third order affects to system characteristics [5]. For example, a decision maker could alter the number of satellites in a constellation and the dashboard would display the impact(s) to system coverage, availability, resolution, military utility, and other parameters which describe the system"s performance. By"turning the knobs"a decision maker would have immediate insight into the system"s complex interdependencies and could leverage these to perform a trade study to optimize future system. The dashboard shall be a Graphical User Interface that can be used by a non-programmer and must represent system impacts and relationships catered to the decision maker. This system is not required to be fully automatic. It is expected that system engineers, component engineers, and/or system architects will interact regularly with the system to enable these architecture models and products. The largest benefit of this system is to couple the decision maker with the engineers, enabling more precise and informed architecture decisions within and between complex systems. A satellite constellation system example can be provided by ISR. PHASE I: Phase I will involve developing the concepts for architecture models to understand complex systems. It will also examine the feasibility of the concepts developed in Phase I. PHASE II: Work in this phase will include a prototype to demonstrate and validate the system. Prove the feasibility of the system. The Phase II program should develop the"turn-key"system ready for use. PHASE III: The Phase III work would be using the tool for real architecture evaluation of future architectures. Any complex system developed by DoD can use this system. For commercial applications, any complex system developer can use this system. REFERENCES: 1. Johnson, P., Ekstedt, M., Silva, E., and Plazaola, L.,"Using Enterprise Architecture for CIO Decision-Making,"Proceedings of the 2nd Annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research, 2004. 2. English, Jacob K., and Molesworth, Michael P.,"Rapid Prototype Development of a Remotely-Piloted Aircraft Powered by a Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System,"AFIT Masters Thesis. 3. Huynh, Thomas, and Osmundson, John,"A Systems Engineering Methodology for Analyzing System of Systems Using the Systems Modeling Language (SysML),"proceedings of 2nd Annual Systems Engineering Conference, July 2004. 4. 5.
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