Characterizing Emergent Behavior in Systems of Systems
The often repeated adage “the whole is more than the sum of the parts” captures the essential nature of emergence. In the case of a system such as an aircraft, the individual component parts are relatively stable over time and their interrelationships are reasonably understood. As a result, engineers have some ability, relative to the complexity of the system, to understand, predict and design for emergent behavior. Characterizing emergence behavior for system of systems is more challenging.