Complex, large-scale engineered systems are an integral part of modern society. The cost of these systems is often high, while their ability to react to emergent requirements can be low. This paper proposes evolvability, based on usable excess, as a possible metric to promote system longevity. An equation for the usability of excess, previously defined only in terms of quantity, is improved to include the attributes of type, location, and form as well as quantity. A methodology for evaluating a system's evolvability is also presented. Using an automated assembly line as an example, we show that system evolvability can be modeled as a function of usable excess.

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