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Systems Architecting and Software Architecting - On Separate or Convergent Paths?

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Systems Engineering Education Research

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1126.1 - 23.1126.11



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Paper Authors


Howard Eisner George Washington University

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Dr. Eisner, since 1989, has served as Distinguished Research Professor at The George Washington University. Prior to that time, he served in industry as a research engineer, manager and executive. He has written 5 books on systems engineering and various aspects of management. He is a Life Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of INCOSE and the New York Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, Sigma Xi and Omega Rho.

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SYSTEMS AND SOFTWARE ARCHITECTING – ON SEPARATE OR CONVERGENT PATHS? Howard EisnerAbstract Systems Engineering is an overall method and discipline for building large-scalesystems. It has been described as consisting of some twenty-five subordinateprocesses or an equivalent number of elements. Whatever the overall description, itis agreed that software engineering is a critical activity within the overall field ofsystems engineering. The success of our efforts at building large systems oftendepends upon how well we execute the software tasks within a systemsengineering framework. The software development issue is high on our list of areasthat require continuous improvement if we are to be successful at systemsengineering. Both systems and software engineering have methods for architecting.In the former case, there are several approaches, all of which are rather definitive,and have well-known proponents and supporters. These include DoDAF, MoDAF,Enterprise Architecting, and others. In the case of software engineering, theapproaches seem to be deep, varied and interesting, and not necessarily agreedupon. In this paper, the author provides an overview of both the fields of systemsand software architecting, looking especially for areas of possible commonality.Conclusions are set forth including the possibility of a unified approach.Recommendations follow, suggesting future actions as well as research areas.These results have direct relevance to the structure and content of curricula, currentand future, for systems and software engineering and architecting.Submitted to: Systems Engineering Division (SED)Submitted by:Dr. Howard EisnerDistinguished Research Professor, andProfessor, Engineering Management andSystems Engineering DepartmentSchool of Engineering and Applied ScienceThe George Washington UniversityWashington, DC;

Eisner, H. (2013, June), Systems Architecting and Software Architecting - On Separate or Convergent Paths? Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22511

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