Main Project Objectives

The project addresses the difficult technical, management, and political challenges to organisations attempting to unify the strengths of the numerous infrastructures and objects made available by the advances in communication, sensing computing and actuating capabilities.


To distinguish between very large complex monolithic system and systems of systems (SoS) [Maier] presented the following five characteristics for SoS: 

  1. Operational independence of elements:
    The constituent systems can usefully operate independently.
  2. Managerial independence of the elements:
    The constituent systems are separately acquired by different managerial entities.
  3. Evolutionary development:
    An SoS evolves over time, developing its capabilities as the constituent systems are changed, added, or removed.
  4. Emergent behaviour:
    The SoS itself offers additional services above and beyond he capabilities of the constituent systems (but it can also exhibit unexpected and potentially damaging behaviours).
  5. Geographic distribution:
    The geographic extent of the constituent systems is “large”.

DANSE focuses on the following challenges unsolved by existing engineering practices:

  • Maintain stability whilst achieving typically changing overarching objectives.
  • Manage unexpected emergent behaviour, which may cause substantial loss of service, (partial) shutdown or safety risks.
  • Increase overall system state awareness to support stakeholder optimisation decisions.


    • Methodology to support an evolutionary, adaptive and iterative SoS life-cycle
    • Contracts as semantic-sound model for SoS interoperations
    • Development of approaches for SoS architecture - continuous and non-disruptive system component integration
    • Supportive tools for SoS analysis, simulation and optimisation
  • Validation of new SoS approaches by real-life test cases:
    • Emergency First Responders (used as a Concept Alignment Example for the development of the DANSE
      methodology and tools)
    • Air Traffic Management, Autonomous Ground Transport, Integrated Water Treatment and Supply


[Maier]: Marc W. Maier: Architecting Principles for Systems-of-Systems. TiAC White Paper Repository A. Souza-Poza, S. Kovacic, C. Keating: System of systems engineering: an emerging multidiscipline. Int. J. System of Systems Engineering, 1(1/2), 2008
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