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System of Systems Software Assurance

November 2009 White Paper
John B. Goodenough

This white paper describes SEI investigation into ways to provide justified confidence that a system of systems will behave as needed in its actual and evolving usage environments.


Under U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) sponsorship, the Software Engineering Institute has initiated a research project on system of systems (SoS) software assurance. The project's overall goal is to provide appropriate methods and tools to meet the assurance challenges of systems of systems. To focus the research, the project is specifically addressing SoS assurance issues that arise in large-scale adaptive information management and command/control systems of systems. The key research question is determining what types of evidence (and associated argumentation) are needed to achieve justified confidence that SoS behavior (with respect to quality attributes such as reliability, availability, performance, or security) will be acceptable when the SoS is used in its actual and evolving usage environments.