The engineers I work with commonly refer to “systems of systems” instead of “big systems.” Systems of systems are, as the name suggests, are collections of coordinated systems. The most common variety are network-centric systems.
Outside the engineering world – and in it, for that matter – the common phrase is “complex systems.”
The chief difference between systems and systems of systems, aside from scale, is increased interest in emergent behaviors and the application of hierarchy theories.
-- Jeff Schiffel
From: Arun Majumdar
FWIW: I consider "Big Systems" distinct from "Systems Engineering" in that "Big Systems" are about size, depth, breadth and complexity from an ontological, teleological and epistemological schemes for naming, categorization, management, curation, lifecycle and operations viewpoint. Systems Engineering, in my viewpoint, is about engineering methodologies, tools, techniques, approaches, strategies, cookbooks, and data/information/infrastructure architectures.
On Jan 27, 2012, at 11:46 AM, joseph simpson wrote:
Thanks, this kind of organizational detail helps.
If the objective of the summit activity is to make a distinction between "big systems" and "systems engineering" then combining the tracks would make the identification of that distinction more difficult.
I believe this primary distinction is important.
However, I agree that combining the tracks will not stop discussion. It will just eliminate the requirement to make a "best guess" categorization of area to place the topic. Discussion of this fundamental selection would enable the communication of each individuals point of view.
For example, I would have placed the discussion of Cyc in Big Systems, not Systems Engineering. I would place the earth weather system in Big Systems, not Systems Engineering.
I would place the discussion of component engineering languages in the Systems Engineering area but would call it concurrent component engineering, not systems engineering. There is a difference between distributed, concurrent component engineering and Systems Engineering.
But that just my take on the domain areas, other views are just as valid at this level.
On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 8:27 AM, Peter Yim <peter.yim@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
Seeing JackRing, JosephSimpson, TerryLongstreth, etc.'s misgivings
about the announcement on "combining the tracks 1&2", (and even
JohnSowa's use of "track" in his suggestion that we look at Cyc) I
believe we need some clarification on the following really means, in
terms of the OntologySummit process.
This is my take on the matter ...
* Track - a broadstroke partitioning of various sub-focus under the
theme, which allows us to cluster and manage the OntologySummit
discourse more effectively
** Track Title - a label that broadly describes what a particular track covers
** Track Mission - a statement describing what a particular track
intends to achieve (and possibly a bit on how it intends to do it)
** Track champion - volunteers who are committing a lot of time and
effort to help get things organized (within a track), moderate the
discussions, host virtual panel sessions, and who will, eventually
help synthesize the inputs, contributions and learnings from the
community that were channeled to a particular track
* (virtual) Session - the weekly 2-hour virtual (augmented conference
call) events that are featured during the 3-months while the
OntologSummit is in session. These are (nominally) chaired and
organized by the track champions. Because of the time limitation,
there will only be about a dozen of these. Depending on the number of
tracks there are, each track ends up getting only one or two of these
sessions. These are the occasions where summit participants get to
interact synchronously. Participants are invited to offer to present
briefs of relevance (by sending a title and an abstract of what they
want to present to the track champions for consideration), or just
come to the sessions, and share their insights (which will get
documented and archived) in real time.
* (discussion) Thread / Subject - discussions made over the
[ontology-summit] mailing list. These are usually jump-started, and
coordinated by track champions. Topics can also be initiated by anyone
in the OntologySummit community (i.e. those who are subscribed to that
particular mailing list) as long as they are relevant to the Summit
theme; and, of course, preferably relevant to a particular track
mission. Participants are requested to properly prefix and label a
discussion thread's subject line to make it easier for everyone (and
for those who will be trying to synthesize the transactions.)
Contributions should stay on topic, an if the discussion is taking off
in a new direction, the contributor should also modify the subject
line as appropriate. This is the most generally used platform, with no
(within reason) limits (other than the contributors' time and
imagination), and works asynchronously among the OntologySummit
* CommunityInput and Synthesis wiki-pages for the tracks - this is,
presumably, self-explanatory. see:
... under "Workspaces"
* Constraints - there are a lot that can be done, but only some will
get done because we are constraint by time (~3 months) and the limited
volunteered resources. Therefore, if anyone is passionate about seeing
a particular aspect properly addressed, please volunteer yourself to
help drive it.
So, (my take again) ...
- Did we 'kill' the distinction between "systems engineering" and
"engineered systems" by combining the two tracks? ... I don't think
so. Those discussion threads are still alive and kicking on the
[ontology-summit] list and in the in-session chat inputs. No one is
(or can) call a stop to them.
- Did we "kill" any discussion? ... not by way or combining or
relabeling the tracks; but with the posting of the new track-1&2
mission statement, the focus should now be very clearly defined, and
one can better see where the champions would want to see the
discussions be directed.
- Can we start a "track on Cyc"? ... probably not (any more) at this
stage; and given the constraints, even having a "session just on Cyc"
may not be the most appropriate. However, JohnSowa's call to our
paying attention to Cyc and discuss what we are learning from it, is a
absolutely brilliant idea. Input into that thread John just started
will help move the discussion forward. I'm sure Cyc has material that
is relevant to any and all of our tracks, and various track champions
can consider addressing certain aspects in one of their virtual
sessions. Getting those activities properly coordinated would be the
organizing committee's job (which the various co-champions can
discuss, offline, in the organizing committee meetings or on their
On Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 6:18 AM, Jack Ring <jring7@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Having combined two distinct topics into one track you now ask that we deselect our sub-topics to fit the limited bandwidth. Will this arrive at a compelling summit in April?
> On Jan 27, 2012, at 2:01 AM, Matthew West wrote:
>> Thank you very much for your contributions yesterday. Your talks obviously
>> raised considerable interest.
>> If there is a problem, it is that there is just too much material to go at
>> in the remainder of the Ontology Summit on this track. So I would ask you
>> each to nominate just two focussed topics from the discussions last night,
>> that you would like to see progress made during the rest of the summit.
>> Mine are:
>> - Ontology of System Components
>> - Design Language Interoperability
>> Matthew West
>> Information Junction
>> Tel: +44 1489 880185
>> Mobile: +44 750 3385279
>> Skype: dr.matthew.west
>> This email originates from Information Junction Ltd. Registered in England
>> and Wales No. 6632177.
>> Registered office: 2 Brookside, Meadow Way, Letchworth Garden City,
>> Hertfordshire, SG6 3JE.