Software Engineering in the Systems Engineering Life Cycle - SEBoK
Do you know what the differences are between a Software Engineer vs. a Systems Engineer? Read the full article today. A: A software engineer designs and creates engineering specifications for software programs based on a broad knowledge of information systems. PDF | In an effort to explore the relationship between the disciplines of systems engineering and software engineering, professionals from academia, industry.
This change has not yet been applied to An update of is planned forin which the alignment to will be reviewed. See Alignment and Comparison of the Standards for more discussion of the relationships between the standards. Reprinted with permission of Garry Roedler. All other rights are reserved by the copyright owner. Systems Engineering and Software Engineering Life Cycle Relationships Pyster et al define two technical dimensions of engineered systems and of the engineering disciplines associated with them.
The vertical dimensions of a system are those that modularize around technically focused engineering concerns involving specific elements of the system; the horizontal dimensions of a system involve cross-cutting concerns at the systems level. Examples of vertical concerns include quality attributes and performance effectiveness; and cost, schedule and risk of physical, organizational or human system elements associated with a particular technology domain.
Examples of horizontal concerns include addressing evolving customer preferences that drive systems-level quality attributes, trade-off and optimization; resolving system architecture, decomposition and integration issues; implementing system development processes; and balancing system economics, cost, risk and schedule.
In complex systems projects, SE has a horizontal role while traditional engineering disciplines such as electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering have vertical roles. To the extent that it is responsible for all aspects of the successful delivery of software related elements SwE can be considered as one of the vertical discipline.
All of these traditional vertical disciplines will have some input to the horizontal dimension. However, the nature of software and its role in many complex systems makes SwE a critical discipline for many horizontal concerns. This is discussed further below.
The life cycle of software product, containing minimal physical hardware, should use the software specific processes and a simple life cycle The life cycle of systems with a significant software content sometimes called software intensive systems should integrate the software processes into the SE life cycle The second of these is the one relevant to the practice of SE. This simple relationship must be seen in the context of the concurrencyiteration and recursion relationship between SE life cycle processes described in Applying Life Cycle Processes.
This means that, in general, software requirements and architecture processes will be applied alongside system requirements and architecture processes; while software integration and test processes are applied alongside system integration, verification and validation processes. These interrelationships help with vertical software concerns, ensuring detailed software design and construction issues are considered at the system level.
They also help with horizontal concerns, ensuring whole system issues are considered and are influenced by an understanding of software. See the Nature of Software for more details.
The ways these related processes work together will depend on the systems approach to solution synthesis used and how this influences the life cycle. If a top down approach is used, problem needs and system architecture will drive software implementation and realization. If a bottom up approach is used, the architecture of existing software will strongly influence both the system solution and the problem which can be considered.
In Applying Life Cycle Processes a "middle-out" approach is described which combines these two ideas and is the most common way to develop systems. This approach needs a two-way relationship between SE and SwE technical processes.
Systems Engineering and Software Engineering
The SW Support Processes may also play these vertical and horizontal roles. Part 3 contains knowledge areas on both System Deployment and Use which includes operation, maintenance and logistics; and Systems Engineering Management which covers the project processes shown in Figure 2.
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SwE support processes focus on the successful vertical deployment and use of software system elements and the management needed to achieve this. They also support their equivalent horizontal SE processes in contributing to the success of the whole system life cycle. The Software Reuse Processes have a particularly important role to play in deployment and use and Product and Service Life Management processes.
All of these horizontal software engineering activities rely on the associated SE activities having a sufficient understanding of the strengths and limitations of software and SwE, see Key Points a Systems Engineer Needs to Know about Software Engineering. The Life Cycle Models knowledge area also defines how Vee and Iterative life cycle models provide a framework to tailor the generic life cycle and process definitions to different types of system development.
Both models, with some modification, apply equally to the development of products and services containing software. Thus, the simple relationships between SE and SwE processes will form the basis for tailoring to suite project needs within a selected life cycle model.
Software and Systems Challenges Pyster et al. These are briefly described below: Physical Systems operate on and generate matter or energy. While they often utilize computation and software technologies as components, those components are not dominant in the horizontal dimension of engineering. Rather, in such systems, they are defined as discrete system elements and viewed and handled as vertical concerns. The cruise control on an automobile and the guidance system for a ballistic missile are two examples.
Control systems theory is an active field of applied mathematics involving the investigation of solution spaces and the development of new methods for the analysis of the control process. Industrial engineering Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering that concerns the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, material and process.
Industrial engineering draws upon the principles and methods of engineering analysis and synthesis, as well as mathematical, physical and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design to specify, predict, and evaluate results obtained from such systems.
Interface design Interface design and its specification are concerned with assuring that the pieces of a system connect and inter-operate with other parts of the system and with external systems as necessary. Interface design also includes assuring that system interfaces be able to accept new features, including mechanical, electrical and logical interfaces, including reserved wires, plug-space, command codes and bits in communication protocols.
This is known as extensibility. Systems engineering principles are applied in the design of network protocols for local-area networks and wide-area networks.
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Mechatronic engineering Mechatronic engineeringlike systems engineering, is a multidisciplinary field of engineering that uses dynamical systems modeling to express tangible constructs. In that regard it is almost indistinguishable from Systems Engineering, but what sets it apart is the focus on smaller details rather than larger generalizations and relationships.
As such, both fields are distinguished by the scope of their projects rather than the methodology of their practice. Operations research Operations research supports systems engineering. The tools of operations research are used in systems analysis, decision making, and trade studies. Several schools teach SE courses within the operations research or industrial engineering department,  highlighting the role systems engineering plays in complex projects.
Operations researchbriefly, is concerned with the optimization of a process under multiple constraints. Performance is usually defined as the speed with which a certain operation is executed, or the capability of executing a number of such operations in a unit of time. Performance may be degraded when operations queued to execute is throttled by limited system capacity. For example, the performance of a packet-switched network is characterized by the end-to-end packet transit delay, or the number of packets switched in an hour.
The design of high-performance systems uses analytical or simulation modeling, whereas the delivery of high-performance implementation involves thorough performance testing.
Systems engineering - Wikipedia
Performance engineering relies heavily on statisticsqueueing theory and probability theory for its tools and processes. Program management and project management Program management or programme management has many similarities with systems engineering, but has broader-based origins than the engineering ones of systems engineering.
Project management is also closely related to both program management and systems engineering. Proposal engineering Proposal engineering is the application of scientific and mathematical principles to design, construct, and operate a cost-effective proposal development system. Basically, proposal engineering uses the " systems engineering process " to create a cost effective proposal and increase the odds of a successful proposal.
Reliability engineering Reliability engineering is the discipline of ensuring a system meets customer expectations for reliability throughout its life; i. Next to prediction of failure, it is just as much about prevention of failure.
Reliability engineering applies to all aspects of the system. It is closely associated with maintainabilityavailability dependability or RAMS preferred by someand logistics engineering.