In terms of Systems of Systems diversity is a "noticeable heterogeneity"[1] that puts distinct element, qualities or people together in an operational setting.

In general an SoS can be seen and described from multiple angles and perspectives. It therefore exhibits an ambigious character, but still has its own purpose as a whole.

The components of the system fulfill their own functions as well as contribute to the System of Systems. Thereby they are not dependent on interacting at the same time or in the same place.

The visible heterogeneity of the constituent systems inter- or intra-firm shows in each part contributing certain capabilities and competencies in order to form a complementary whole.[2]

"In general, the constituent systems will be heterogeneous and, importantly, the evolutionary characteristic also implies that the systems will not necessarily have been designed to work toegether (interoperate) from the outset."[3]



  1. Sauser, Boardman, 2008.
  2. Ford, Rauschecker, Athanassopoulou, "System-of-system Approaches for  Multi-Site Manufacturing", 2012.
  3. Henshaw et al., The Systems of Systems Engineering Strategic Research Agenda, 2013.


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