Systems Engineering and Complexity

Keywords Systems Engineering and Complexity requirements engineering system architecting technical analysis adaption emergent property
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The interaction between the fields of systems engineering and complexity theory is only beginning. This paper quickly explores the two fields to seek the relationship between them. Systems engineering is usually defined in terms of the activities that are used in the field: mission/purpose definition, requirements engineering, system architecting, system implementation, technical analysis, technical management/leadership, scope management, and verification/validation. Complexity theory is usually defined in terms of the characteristics evidenced by complexity, among them the use of agents, reflexivity, local information, emergent properties, and adaptation. It is shown briefly that the systems engineering activities relate directly to the characteristics of complexity, leading to a conclusion that systems engineering is the engineering of complexity.1

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