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The ubiquitous centralised feedback control architectural model has been widely adopted in autonomic systems engineering. However, this type of model suffers from a lack of scalability as for instance, the number of managed elements increase. Additionally, the emergent nature of complex systems can quickly render design-based models inaccurate. Alternative approaches based on self-organising systems theory are now increasingly investigated to develop scalable decentralised control models for networks of autonomic systems. However, engineering support for the design and application of these techniques is limited, and their suitability not yet well proven. Based on an ongoing research into model based engineering of self-organising networks, this paper investigates a signature-based method of adaptive observation relevant to existing research in graph theory and complex systems. Primarily, this approach attempts to address the specification and implementation of both the characteristics of the observed structure, and the necessary qualities of a matching and efficient observation overlay. This is tested on a basic topological example in assimilation environment to demonstrate how observers can make efficient use of limited resources while accurately observing a system.