Flexibility is a highly desired attribute of many systems operating in changing or uncertain conditions. This paper presents a study of enabling flexibility through designing and operating systems of systems (SoSs). The paper analyzes flexibility mechanisms of SoSs and, accordingly, identifies needs for flexibility that SoSs can meet. Following that, it proposes a hierarchical network as a more flexible SoS architecture for complex or distributed large-scale systems. Then, decision problems for forming and evolving a SoS network are defined. A case that involves integrating distributed renewable energy sources with the main grid is presented to illustrate the implementation of the proposed methodology. Results from this study support the idea of acquiring and maintaining flexibility with SoSs. The paper also identifies research needs for advancing this particular use of SoSs.

Meeting Name

Complex Adaptive Systems Conference with Theme: Engineering Cyber Physical Systems (2017: Oct. 30-Nov. 1, Chicago, IL)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

System of Systems; Flexibility; Dynamics; Microgrid; Distributed Energy Sources

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





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