ITS Architecture as part of Systems Engineering

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering that focuses on how complex engineering projects should be designed and managed over the life cycle of the project. Whenever complex integrated systems are being designed it is normal for one of the first design products to be the System Architecture. Thus an ITS architecture is a System Architecture for integrated Intelligent Transport System (ITS).

A system architecture, or systems architecture, is the conceptual model that defines the structure, behavior, and more viewpoints of a system. An architecture description is a formal description of a system, organized in a way that supports reasoning about the structural properties of the system. It defines the system components or building blocks and provides a plan from which products can be procured, and systems developed, that will work together to implement the overall system. This may enable one to manage investment in a way that meets business needs.

The systems engineering process is often depicted using the V-model system lifecycle (see below). This model emphasises the need to ensure that the system is both built correctly, and that it satisfies the aspirations of all its stakeholders.

System-Engineering-V-Model-N

The early part of a system lifecycle is sometimes glossed over quickly so that the “more exciting” stages of design and implementation, and the use of (often new) technology can be reached as quickly as possible. The danger of taking this approach is that the early products (Stakeholder Aspirations, User Needs, System Architecture and System Specifications) will not be complete and/or correct. Thus the resulting System Design, which will be verified against them, will also be incomplete and/or incorrect, and the development may be some way up the right hand side of the V-model lifecycle before the discrepancies begin to appear, making them much more expensive to rectify. This effect is illustrated below, and is sometimes called “The 10:100:1000 Rule” because the cost of correcting faults in a system increases exponentially (by about a factor of 10) during each successive stage of a lifecycle.

10-100-1000-Rule-N

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