SYST 621/SWSE 641: Systems Engineering of Information Architectures (3:3:0)

Prequisites: SYST 520 or INFS 501 or equivalent

Description: An intensive study of the relationships between different types of architecture representations and the methodologies used to obtain them. Approaches based on systems engineering constructs such as structured analysis and software engineering constructs such as object orientation are used to develop architecture representations or views and to derive an executable model of the information architecture. The executable model is then used for behavior analysis and performance evaluation. The roles of the systems architect and the systems engineer are discussed. Examples from current practice including the C4ISR architectures are used.

Date and Time: Mondays from 3:00 to 5:40 PM at the Naval/Surface Weapons Centre, Dahlgren, VA

Instructor: Prof. Lee W. Wagenhals
Office: Room 337 Science & Technology II
Tel: (703) 993 1712           Fax (GMU): (703) 993 1708

Course Website:
Go to Courses, then select SYST 621/SWSE 641 for this term


A. H. Levis and L. Wagenhals, Architecting Information Systems, GMU/C3I-165I -R, Class Notes for SYST 621- Version K, C3I Center, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. (Available at the website for downloading)

There are two papers that cover some of the material in the course and present an example. Both papers can be downloaded from the website:

1.  C4ISR Architectures I: Developing a Process for C4ISR Architecture Design. Alexander H. Levis and Lee W. Wagenhals (Revised 7/00)
2.  C4ISR Architectures II: Structured Analysis Approach for Architecture Design. Lee W. Wagenhals, Insub Shin, Daesik Kim, and Alexander H. Levis (Revised 7/00)

No single book covers the material to be presented in this course. The course notes contain extensive references to relevant textbooks and government documents.

1 - 1/28/02 Architectures, Systems and Approaches: Ch 1
2 - 2/04/02 Structured Analysis: Functional Decomposition, Activity Modeling, Ch 2
3 - 2/11/02 Structured Analysis: Data Flow Diagrams, Data Modeling: Ch 3 & 4
4 - 2/18/02 Structured Analysis: Rule Modeling, Ch 5
5 - 2/25/02 Structured Analysis: Dynamics modeling, Ch 6
6 - 3/04/02 Structured Analysis: System Dictionary and Model Concordance: Ch 7
7 - 3/18/02 Entity-Relation Diagrams Ch 8; Review
8 - 3/25/02 Midterm
9 - 4/01/02 Object orientation: Basic Object Oriented Principles; Ch 9, 9a, 9b
10 - 4/08/02 Object orientation continued 
11 - 4/15/02 Object orientation: Case study; Ch 10
12 - 4/22/02 Executable models: Introduction to Petri Nets: Ch 11
13 - 4/29/02 Representing architectures with Colored Petri Nets: Ch 12
14 - 5/06/02 Evaluation of Architectures: Ch 13; Closure: Chapter 14
5/13/02 Final

Homework Assignments

There will be weekly reading assignments and homework assignments. The class will be divided into teams of four persons each. While students are encouraged to work together on the homework as teams, they have to submit individual responses to the homework assignments. A separate handout, available also on the web, describes the procedures to be used in doing the homework. Please read it before constituting the various teams.


Homework sets will count for 40% of the final grade. There will be an in-class midterm examination (30%) and an in-class final examination (30%).