Complex Systems Architecting Using Design Primitives, Comparative Analysis and Fuzzy Analytical Feedback

Cihan H. Dagli, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Jason P. Dauby

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Modern systems are increasing in complexity. It is advantageous to understand and control this complexity as early in the design lifecycle as possible. The system architecting community must reconcile the inherent ambiguity in a system description with the need for analytical assessments of system attributes so as to increase the likelihood of developmental success. Presently, it is commonplace to decompose systems and subsystems using assumptions of idealized severability and reliance on superposition to estimate composite performance. It is suggested that these assumptions can result in errant oversimplification and represent an opportunity for new systems engineering research. This paper introduces a new methodology for assessing system architectures - one that leverages tools and expertise commonly found in the specialty domains of detailed engineering disciplines. The foundational elements and concepts behind the Canonical Decomposition Fuzzy Comparative assessment method are presented herein. The intent of this research is to better illuminate the characteristics of inter- and intra-system dynamics for programs that warrant the increased rigor of this method. ©2010 IEEE.