System Engineering Concepts

The following pages are intended to describe basic systems engineering modeling constructs. Every system considered for building has certain aspects that need to be captured. These aspects or assets are what systems engineers attempt to define during the course of the development of a system. It turns out that there is a fairly short list of asset types. But there may be large numbers of each type of asset.

Each type of asset is described in a separate section.

The List

Briefly, the system assets are; Systems, Features, Functions, States, Requirements, I/O, Interactions, Interfaces and Modeled Attributes. Other artifacts are derived from these. There are a few additional concepts that describe aspects of the assets. For example stakeholders are really systems, while boundaries and environments are aspects of systems. Systems Engineers capture the definitions of these assets during the course of development. It will be clear later why these are the principle ideas that need collecting. Just getting the core assets named and unambiguously defined is one of the main goals of a systems engineer. The nuances of the relationships among these assets can be quite subtle. Most of the discussion of relationships is deferred to the graduate program. Each type of system may stress different subsets of the model model relationships.

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