search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

SoS Architectures - Identifying Architecture, Engineering and Capability Challenges Early in the Lifecycle

November 2015 Presentation
Michael J. Gagliardi, Timothy Morrow, William G. Wood

The SEI has applied its Mission Thread Workshop (MTW) approach on a variety of system of systems (SoS) architectures in DoD organizations. This talk presents the MTW in the context of a DoD mission-critical SoS example.


Software Engineering Institute


For systems of systems (SoS), severe integration and operational problems can arise due to inconsistencies, ambiguities, and gaps in how the architectures address the quality attributes (nonfunctional requirements such as availability, predictability, and security). The problems are exacerbated in contexts where major system and software elements of the SoS are developed concurrently and independently. The Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) has developed an approach—called the Mission Thread Workshop (MTW)—for eliciting quality attribute considerations as augmentations to end-to-end mission threads early in the architecture development process and for evaluating SoS, constituent system, and software architectures against these mission threads to identify architecture risks. These mission threads can be used throughout a program’s lifecycle.

The SEI has applied the MTW on a variety of SoS architectures in Department of Defense (DoD) organizations, and this talk will present the MTW in the context of a DoD mission-critical SoS example. The example includes derivation of system- and software-specific scenarios to drive a System and Software Architecture Evaluation of a constituent legacy system in the SoS. It also includes lessons learned from real-world application of the methods.