The idea of the “architecture of a system” is growing in recognition; today there are more than 100,000 professionals with the title "system architect." It appears in diverse industries, from the architecture of a power grid to the architecture of a mobile payment system.
A new book, "System Architecture: Strategy and Product Development for Complex Systems," provides a summary of the field from Edward Crawley, the Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT, Bruce Cameron, lecturer in MIT's Engineering Systems Division, and Daniel Selva assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell University. Cameron is a graduate of the MIT Technology and Policy Program and the Engineering Systems Division doctoral program, and Selva is a graduate of the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics doctoral program.
Focused on modern complex systems, the book views architecture as a series of decisions that can be actively sorted and managed. The text builds a cohesive framework, working from foundational examples, such as pumps, circuits, and sorting algorithms, to complex systems in networking and hybrid cars. Examples are built on the development experience of the authors in communications, transportation, mobile advertising, finance, robotics, and medical devices — ranging in complexity from farm equipment to the International Space Station.
Other contributors include Norm Augustine, former CEO of Lockheed Martin; Victor Tang, former special advisor to the CEO of IBM; and Willard Simmons, CTO of DataXu, the leading demand-side platform for online advertising.