Cohesion (glossary)

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(1) The attribute of a system that allows it to operate before, during, and after an encounter with a threat. (Hitchins 2009)

(2) The manner and degree to which the tasks performed by a single software module are related to one another. (ISO/IEC/IEEE 2010)

(3) The act or state of cohering, uniting, or sticking together. ( 2012)


(1) Hitchins, D. 2009. "What Are The General Principles Applicable to Systems?" INCOSE Insight 12 (4) (Dec 2009): 59-63.

(2) ISO/IEC/IEEE. 2010. Systems and Software Engineering - System and Software Engineering Vocabulary (SEVocab). Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)/ Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765:2010.

(3) 2012. "Cohesion." Available at


In systems engineering, cohesion refers both to the property of natural and social systems that similar elements are attracted to each other and to ability to operate in a threat environment. The context determines which definition is appropriate.

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