Ph.D Thesis

Ph.D StudentDallal Iris
Subject"Fan-Out" Model for "System of Systems" Development
DepartmentDepartment of Quality Assurance and Reliability
Supervisors PROF. Gadi Rabinowitz


Market trends for applying “Systems of Systems” (SoS) compels developers who want to advance their business to be involved in SoS programs. Although the difficulties and challenges entailed in developing SoS are numerous, the integration of varied technologies into coherent systems, interconnected in a network, brings with it an immense potential for creating new spin-off products with correspondingly new market shares.

In this work, we present a novel approach denoted as the “Fan-Out” that significantly expands the role of systems engineering. Moreover, it expands the quality concepts, tools and measurements to effectively manage, control and monitor future benefits, and it improves the SoS development process. Specifically, it ameliorates SoS development by merging advanced quality principles that can better handle future uncertainties.

Applying this concept, particularly during the development stage, during which a strong emphasis is put on the system’s future potential, fosters more productive SoS development. Moreover, it enables and even encourages the emergence of new by-products, or spin-off products, from the original systems, a process that confers substantial benefits upon the developer, and as such, it should not be neglected. Subsequent to Fan-Out materialization, the quality system should comprise a plan to operate the model during system development and follow-up.

During this research we formed a group of “core experts” gathered from industry who have intimate experience in, and in-depth knowledge of, developing SoS and their constituent systems. We used methods such as interviews, Delphi, and logical sessions to acquire the knowledge to develop first the “Fan-Out conceptual models” and later the proposed “Fan-Out Assessment tool”. This new, proprietary tool incorporates parameters that we identified as capable of both elucidating how spin-offs emerge and of affecting their subsequent emergence. It also comprises an integrative “Fan-Out indicator”, which enabled us to forecast potential benefits that could grow out of the assessed SoS (or its constituent systems).

When the Fan-Out concept was ready for testing, the core experts helped us locate SoS (and their component systems) and the corresponding experts who were directly involved in developing those tested systems. Testing our tool generated practical feedback that improved our understanding and application of the Fan-Out conceptual model and its associated tool. Toward the end of this research we used Principle Component Analysis and Fuzzy Logic to illustrate the feasibility of the preliminary Fan-Out system.