Introduction to Systems of Systems at CentraleSupelec

Friday, March 26, 2021 Yann Chazal and Philippe Bouteyre had the honor to share their interest in Systems of Systems with 35 engineering students in the final year of CentraleSupelec university. This intervention was the first one of a teaching module created by Andreas Makoto Hein for the CentraleSupelec. This module, specially dedicated to Systems of Systems, is a novelty in engineering training.

Yann and Philippe explained what they understood from this topic, showed application examples and offered recommendations from their experience.

Companies are increasingly confronted, consciously or not, with contexts related to Systems of Systems.

But what is hiding behind this “Systems of Systems” concept?

In reality, we can see:

  • A particular type of complex system with characteristics giving rise to difficulties (macro impacts, collaborations, integration) or risks (acceptability, uncertainties, resilience).
  • An operational methodology that can be integrated into business processes, extending and adapting “model-based” systems engineering practices.
  • An approach to structure our thinking, position it in evolution, integrate more interactions of different nature and scale.

It is therefore an approach that contributes to strategic thinking;  it helps you find your way around and orient yourself. This practice is supported by a dynamic community, however, it remains relatively recent and not very visible. Finally, it gives rise to fascinating open questions that remain to be explored. These are questions related to the dynamics of evolution of Systems of Systems, their dependence on their environment, their cycles, their possible bifurcations, their aptitude for self-organization according to the modes of governance and the role taken by humans. These are keys to a know-how that remains largely to be acquired by economic players.

Leave a comment