Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David R. Jacques, PhD.


While system functions, functionality, and complexity are widely used concepts in systems engineering, there is significant diversity in their definitions and no unified approach to measurement. This research establishes a method for measuring impacts to functionality in dynamic engineered systems based on changes in kinetic energy. This metric is applied at particular levels of abstraction and system scales, consistent with the established multiscale nature of systems. By measuring system behavior in context with expected scenarios, it is possible to estimate expected functionality or set bounds on a system's maximum functionality. Functionality and system effectiveness is heavily influenced by the amount of available energy and the information a system has about its environment. A framework is needed for quickly assessing the impact of changes in information in order to drive system architecture and design. This research relates functionality to the information content required to describe a system using principles from information theory and complexity theory.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number