Scope of the SEBoK

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The SEBoK is a large compendium of information about systems engineering. It:

  • is a guide to the body of SE knowledge which provides references to detailed sources for additional information; it is not a self-contained knowledge resource
  • focuses on Engineered Systems contexts, that is socio-technical systems with a recognized SE life cycle,
  • while treating social and natural systems as relevant and important environmental considerations (see Part 2)
  • describes generic SE life cycle and process knowledge (see Part 3)
  • recognizes that SE principles can be applied differently to different types of products, services, enterprises, and systems of systems (SoS) context (see Part 4)
  • provides resources for organization support of SE activities (see Part 5)
  • explores the interaction between SE and other disciplines, highlighting what systems engineers need to know about these disciplines (see Part 6)
  • is domain-independent, with implementation examples to provide domain-specific context (see Part 7)

Each of these considerations depends upon the definition and scope of SE itself, which is the subject of the next section.


SEBoK Domain Independent Context

The SEBoK uses language and concepts that are generally accepted for domain-independent SE. For example, the domain-independent conceptual foundations of SE are elaborated in Part 2: Foundations of Systems Engineering. However, each of the numerous domains in which SE is practiced — including telecommunications, finance, medicine, and aerospace — has its own specialized vocabulary and key concepts. Accordingly, the SEBoK is designed to show how its domain-independent material relates to individual domains, by means of examples that tell stories of how SE is applied in particular domains. (Part 7 ) consists of examples (case studies and vignettes), each set in a particular domain such as aerospace, medicine, or software, and featuring vocabulary and concepts special to that domain. There are similar vignettes in some of the Use Cases in Part 1. These examples demonstrate the effect of domain on the application of SE and complement the domain-independent information elsewhere in the SEBoK. They show how a concept works in a given domain and provide a fair opportunity for reviewers to reflect on whether there are better ways to capture application-dependent aspects of SE knowledge.

The authors recognize that case studies and vignettes add significant value to the SEBoK, and expect many more to be added as the SEBoK evolves.

SEBoK Life Cycle Context

Figure 2 summarizes the main agents, activities, and artifacts in the SEBoK life cycle.

The SEBoK is one of two complementary products. The other, which uses the content of the SEBoK to define a core body of knowledge (CorBoK) to be included in graduate SE curricula, is called the Graduate Reference Curriculum for Systems Engineering (GRCSE) (Pyster et al. 2015). GRCSE is not a standard, but a reference curriculum to be tailored and extended to meet the objectives of each university’s graduate program. These products are being developed by the Body of Knowledge and Curriculum to Advance Systems Engineering (BKCASE) project (see http://www.bkcase.org).

Figure 2. SEBoK Life Cycle and Context: Related Agents, Activities, and Artifacts. (SEBoK Original)

The BKCASE project, led by Stevens Institute of Technology and the Naval Postgraduate School, draws upon three primary resources. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has provided the funding and a representative, but does has not constrain or direct the project’s approach and content. The Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), a DoD university-affiliated research center operated by Stevens Institute of Technology, supports BKCASE management and infrastructure and is the means by which DoD funding is delivered to the BKCASE project. The international author team of 70 members has been selected for expertise in SE and diversity of national origin (authors have come from 10 different countries in 5 continents), economic sector (government, industry, academia), and SE specialty area. These authors have donated their time to the development of the SEBoK content.

The SEBoK content has been developed incrementally. Each of the prototype versions (0.25, 0.5, and 0.75) underwent an open review by all interested parties. Over 200 reviewers submitted thousands of comments, each of which was adjudicated. Upon completion of the initial SEBoK and GRCSE development in late 2012, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Computer Society (IEEE-CS) and the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), together with the SERC, are anticipated to become the primary stewards for both the SEBoK and the GRCSE. Interested parties will be able develop, operate, and support derivative products and services such as courseware, education, certification, and domain-specific versions of the SEBoK and the GRCSE. Copyright Information offers complete information about what others may do with the content of the SEBoK.

References

Works Cited

INCOSE. 2012. Systems Engineering Handbook, version 3.2.2. San Diego, CA, USA: International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03.2.

Pyster, A., D.H. Olwell, T.L.J. Ferris, N. Hutchison, S. Enck, J.F. Anthony, D. Henry, and A. Squires (eds). 2015. Graduate Reference Curriculum for Systems Engineering (GRCSE™), version 1.1. Hoboken, NJ, USA: The Trustees of the Stevens Institute of Technology. Available at: http://www.bkcase.org/grcse/.

Primary References

INCOSE. 2012. Systems Engineering Handbook, version 3.2.2. San Diego, CA, USA: International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE). INCOSE-TP-2003-002-03.2.

Pyster, A., D.H. Olwell, T.L.J. Ferris, N. Hutchison, S. Enck, J.F. Anthony, D. Henry, and A. Squires (eds). 2015. Graduate Reference Curriculum for Systems Engineering (GRCSE™), version 1.1. Hoboken, NJ, USA: The Trustees of the Stevens Institute of Technology. Available at: http://www.bkcase.org/grcse/.

Additional References

Sage, A. and W. Rouse (eds). 1999. Handbook of Systems Engineering and Management. Hoboken, NJ, USA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.


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SEBoK v. 1.6 released 25 March 2016

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