Metric for Structural Complexity Assessment of Space Systems Modeled Using the System Modeling Language


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A complexity metric is proposed for the quantification of system complexity using information about the composition of a system and its interactions depicted in a System Modelling Language (SysML) model. The proposed metric is adapted from the complexity metric developed for design structure matrix (DSM) applications and was modified to allow the metric to be applied at different decomposition levels and to accommodate the inclusion of external interactions. The metric was applied to three case studies: a Mars lander, a CubeSat and a spacecraft thermal control system. The proposed metric attributed a higher amount of complexity due to the interactions compared to the DSM metric. This variance resulted in instances where the results differed for the two metrics. Despite these differences, both metrics behaved similarly to changes in component or interaction complexity.


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