Date of Award

Summer 2005

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Ji Hyon Mun

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

C. Ariel Pinto

Committee Member

Tom English


Today's political and military reality requires the optimal use of our legacy systems. The objective is to maximize the effectiveness of our operations by efficient allocation, placement and the use of our forces and war-fighting systems. The synergism drawn from the capabilities of the legacy complex systems enables today's war-fighting needs to be met without substantial increase in cost or resources. This synergism can be realized by the effective integration and interoperation of legacy systems into a larger, more complex system of systems.

However, the independently developed legacy systems in this new tactical environment often have different data types, languages, data modeling, operating systems, etc. These differences are impediments to the requirement for interoperability, and can create an environment of confusion, misinformation and certainly un-interoperability, hence hinder the safe interoperation of the metasystem and potentially increase the risk for mishaps. Safe interoperability capability assures that the mission objectives are achieved not only effectively but also safely.

The System Safety Interoperability Framework (SSIF) introduced in this dissertation provides the framework for the engineering community to evaluate, from system safety perspective, the interoperability issues between multiple complex systems in the U.S. Navy's system of systems context. SSIF characterization attributes are System of Systems (SoS) tactical environment, SoS Engineering, SoS Safety Engineering, and Safety Critical Data. SSIF is applied to AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense 3.0 Program to explore and analyze the safety interoperability issues in the overall system, by which the SSIF is further validated as an effective approach in analyzing the safe interoperability capability in Navy's combat systems.