Advancing an Ontology for Systems Engineering to Allow Consistent Measurement

Keywords Advancing an Ontology for Systems Engineering ontology Cognitive Support for Ontology Modeling
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Past analysis has shown that there is a quantifiable correlation between the amount, types and quality of systems engineering efforts used during a program and the success of the program. For any given program, an amount, type and quality of systems engineering effort can be selected from the quantified correlations. The optimal nature of these selections, however, has not yet been explored. An ongoing project, Systems Engineering Return on Investment (SE-ROI), aims to quantify the correlations by gathering data on current and completed programs. It is the purpose of this paper to advance an ontology that can support useful quantification of the desired correlations. This ontology is based on a review of current systems engineering standards, historical systems engineering activities, and data gathered on the COSYSMO and Value of Systems Engineering projects. In this paper, the ontology is further explored to create broadly-based definitions of key terms such as "systems engineering effort," "amount of effort," "type of effort," "quality," "success," and "optimum." The SE-ROI project is continuing to convert the ontology into a methodology for measuring Return on Investment. This measurement will yield more specific relationships between systems engineering activities, such as requirements management effort, and the cost/schedule compliance of the program.1

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commercial white paper
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Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Los Angeles, CA, 2006
Eric C. Honour, Ricardo Valerdi, Ph.D.
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