1st Edition

Realizing Complex System Design

Edited By Anthony P. Ambler, John W. Sheppard Copyright 2025
    504 Pages 175 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    The creation of complex integrated systems is, in itself, complex. It requires immense planning, a large team of people with diverse backgrounds, based in dispersed geographical locations (and countries) supposedly working to a coordinated schedule and cost. The systems engineering task is not new, but recent scales most definitely are. The world is now capable of designing and manufacturing systems whose complexity was not considered possible ten years ago. While many are trained to think in terms of a complete system, where ‘everything’ is designed and produced by a single project team, today such systems involve integrating subsystems and components (which are also complex) that have been developed by other project teams. Inevitably this introduces additional complexities, involving elements out of the direct control of the project, but which are essential to its overall success.


    In addition to traditional systems engineering topics of hardware/software design, testability, and manufacturability, there are wider issues to be contemplated: project planning; communication language (an issue for international teams); units of measure (imperial vs metric) used across members of the team; supply chains (pandemics, military action, natural disasters); legal issues based on place of production and sale; the ethics associated with target use; the threat of cyber-attack. This book is a first attempt to bring many of these issues together to highlight the complexities that need to be considered in modern system design. It is neither exhaustive nor comprehensive, but it gives pointers to the topics for the reader to follow up on in more detail.





    1.       An Overview of Complex System Design


    Part 1: System Planning

    2.       Requirements Types (Design/Test)                                      

    3.       Project Planning                                                                      

    4.       System Decomposition                                              

    5.       Systems Engineering VEE                                                       

    6.       Economics of Design and Test                                             

    7.       Cyber-Physical Systems                                           

    8.       Logistics/Supply Chain Management                                   



    Part 2: System Design

    9.       Chip Level Design and Test                                                      

    10.   Board Level Design and Test                                                 

    11.   Power Distribution                                                                  

    12.   Design Patterns and Reusability                             

    13.   Test Driven Development                                                      


    Part 3: System Analysis

    14.   Reliability                                                                                  

    15.   Availability                                                                                

    16.   Maintainability                                                                        

    17.   Performance Evaluation                                           

    18.   Optimizing Complex Systems Operation                


    Part 4: System Testing

    19.   Types of Testing                                                                       

    20.   Software Test                                                                           

    21.   Error Handling                                                                           

    22.   Automated Test System Design                                            

    23.   Interoperability and Design/Test Standards                       


    Part 5: System Health

    24.   Uncertainty and Uncertainty Propagation            

    25.   Fault Detection, Localization, Isolation                 

    26.   Risk and Risk Analysis                                                             

    27.   Risk-based PHM                                                                       

    28.   Structural Health Monitoring                                                


    Part 6: System Security

    29.   Risk Management Framework                                              

    30.   Information Assurance, Vulnerability Analysis, & Remediation        

    31.   Cryptographic Systems                                            

    32.   Software Security                                                                    


    Part 7: System Usage

    33.   Human System Interaction - Interface Design                                  

    34.   Human and Privacy Rights                                                     

    35.   Humanitarian Well Being                                                       

    36.   The Social Impacts of Complex Systems               








    Anthony P. Ambler is a Fellow of the IEEE, elected ‘For contributions to economics of testing complex digital devices and systems’. His research interests are in test economics, system test and diagnosis. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He was appointed to a Chair in Test Technology at Brunel University (UK), and then moved to the USA. He became Chairman of Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, then Dean of Engineering & Computing at the University of South Carolina, and recently as Dean of Technology at the University of Houston. In addition to his research work, he created the MS degree in Engineering Management at UT Austin. He has acted as Chair of the Organizing Committee of the European Design and Test Conference, General Chair and Program Chair of IEEE International Test Conference and of IEEE International Conference on Computer Design. He has created a number of Workshops including on Test Economics, System Test and Diagnosis, and Production Test Automation.



    John W. Sheppard is a Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering Distinguished Professor in the Gianforte School of Computing at Montana State University His research interests include fault diagnosis/prognosis of complex systems, model-based and Bayesian reasoning, explainable and ethical artificial intelligence, and distributed population-based algorithms. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, elected “for contributions to system-level diagnosis and prognosis.” He received his BS in computer science from Southern Methodist University and his MS and PhD in computer science from Johns Hopkins University. Before entering academia full-time, he was a member of industry for 20 years where his prior position was as a research fellow at ARINC Incorporated. He has been a long-time leader in the IEEE Standards Association, chairing several working groups focused on publishing standards related to complex system test and diagnosis. Previously, he also served as the “designated representative” from the IEEE Computer Society to the IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 20 on Test and Diagnosis for Electronic Systems.