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A system is a group of
interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal effect. Closely related terms are intera ...

interacting
or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries,
structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A ...

structure
and purpose and expressed in its functioning. Systems are the subjects of study of
systems theory Systems theory is the interdisciplinary study of system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in th ...
and other
systems science Systems Science, also referred to as Systems Research, or, simply, Systems, is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic discipline An academic discipline or ac ...
s.


Etymology

The term ''system'' comes from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
word ''systēma'', in turn from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
''systēma'': "whole concept made of several parts or members, system", literary "composition"."σύστημα"
Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, ''
A Greek–English Lexicon ''A Greek–English Lexicon'', often referred to as ''Liddell & Scott'' (), ''Liddell–Scott–Jones'', or ''LSJ'', is a standard lexicographical Lexicography is the study of lexicon A lexicon is the vocabulary A vocabulary, also kn ...
'', on Perseus Digits Library.


History

According to
Marshall McLuhan Herbert Marshall McLuhan (July 21, 1911 – December 31, 1980) was a Canadian philosopher, whose work is among the cornerstones of the study of media theory. . . Retrieved 24 June 2020. . . Retrieved 24 June 2020. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, an ...

Marshall McLuhan
,
"System" means "something to look at". You must have a very high visual gradient to have systematization. But in philosophy, prior to Descartes, there was no "system". Plato had no "system". Aristotle had no "system". Marshall McLuhan in: McLuhan: Hot & Cool. Ed. by Gerald Emanuel Stearn. A Signet Book published by The New American Library, New York, 1967, p. 288.
In the 19th century the French physicist
Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot ''Sous-lieutenant'' Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot (; 1 June 1796 – 24 August 1832) was a French mechanical engineer Mechanical may refer to: Machine * Mechanical system, a system that manages the power of forces and movements to accomplish ...
, who studied
thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and the physical properties of matter and radiation. The behavior of these quantities is governed b ...

thermodynamics
, pioneered the development of the concept of a "system" in the
natural science Natural science is a Branches of science, branch of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Phenomenon, natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer r ...

natural science
s. In 1824 he studied the system which he called the ''working substance'' (typically a body of water vapor) in
steam engine from Stott Park Bobbin Mill, Cumbria, England A steam engine is a heat engine In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energ ...

steam engine
s, in regards to the system's ability to do work when heat is applied to it. The working substance could be put in contact with either a boiler, a cold reservoir (a stream of cold water), or a piston (on which the working body could do work by pushing on it). In 1850, the German physicist
Rudolf Clausius Rudolf Julius Emanuel Clausius (; 2 January 1822 – 24 August 1888) was a German physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of sci ...
generalized this picture to include the concept of the
surroundings Surroundings are the area around a given physical or geographical point Point or points may refer to: Places * Point, Lewis, a peninsula in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland * Point, Texas, a city in Rains County, Texas, United States * Point, the N ...
and began to use the term "working body" when referring to the system. The biologist
Ludwig von Bertalanffy Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy (19 September 1901 – 12 June 1972) was an Austrian biologist Francesco Redi, the founder of biology, is recognized to be one of the greatest biologists of all time A biologist is a professional who has specialized ...
became one of the pioneers of the
general systems theory Systems theory is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other fields li ...
. In 1945 he introduced ''models, principles, and laws that apply to generalized systems or their subclasses, irrespective of their particular kind, the nature of their component elements, and the relation or 'forces' between them.''1945, ''Zu einer allgemeinen Systemlehre,'' Blätter für deutsche Philosophie, 3/4. (Extract in: Biologia Generalis, 19 (1949), 139–164.
Norbert Wiener Norbert Wiener (November 26, 1894 – March 18, 1964) was an American mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as ...

Norbert Wiener
and
Ross Ashby W. Ross Ashby (6 September 1903 – 15 November 1972) was an English psychiatrist and a pioneer in cybernetics, the study of the science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things. His first name was not u ...
, who pioneered the use of mathematics to study systems, carried out significant development in the concept of a ''system''. 1948, ''Cybernetics: Or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine.'' Paris, France: Librairie Hermann & Cie, and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 1956.
An Introduction to Cybernetics
', Chapman & Hall.
In the 1980s
John Henry Holland John Henry Holland (February 2, 1929 – August 9, 2015) was an American scientist and Professor of psychology and Professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He was a pioneer in what became k ...
,
Murray Gell-Mann Murray Gell-Mann (; September 15, 1929 – May 24, 2019) was an American physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branches of science, ...

Murray Gell-Mann
and others coined the term "
complex adaptive system A complex adaptive system is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described ...

complex adaptive system
" at the interdisciplinary
Santa Fe Institute The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) is an independent, nonprofit theoretical research institute located in Santa Fe (New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano) , seat = Santa Fe, New Mexico, Santa Fe , Largest ...

Santa Fe Institute
.


Concepts

;Environment and boundaries :
Systems theory Systems theory is the interdisciplinary study of system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in th ...
views the world as a complex system of interconnected parts. One scopes a system by defining its
boundary Boundary or Boundaries may refer to: * Border, in political geography Entertainment *Boundaries (2016 film), ''Boundaries'' (2016 film), a 2016 Canadian film *Boundaries (2018 film), ''Boundaries'' (2018 film), a 2018 American-Canadian road trip ...
; this means choosing which entities are inside the system and which are outside—part of the
environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological factors along with their chemical interactions that affect an organism or ...
. One can make simplified representations ( models) of the system in order to understand it and to predict or impact its future behavior. These models may define the
structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A ...

structure
and
behavior Behavior (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English ...
of the system. ;Natural and human-made systems :There are natural and human-made (designed) systems. Natural systems may not have an apparent objective but their behavior can be interpreted as purposeful by an observer. Human-made systems are made with variable purposes that are achieved by some action performed by or with the system. The parts of a system must be related; they must be "designed to work as a coherent entity" — otherwise they would be two or more distinct systems. ;Theoretical framework :Most systems are open systems, exchanging matter and energy with their respective surroundings; like a car, a
coffeemaker A coffeemaker or coffee machine is a cooking appliance used to brew coffee Coffee is a Coffee preparation, brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, the seeds of epigynous berries, berries from certain flowering plants in the ''Coff ...
, or
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
. A
closed system A closed system is a physical system A physical system is a collection of physical objects. In physics, it is a portion of the physical universe chosen for analysis. Everything outside the system is known as the environment (systems), environm ...
exchanges energy, but not matter, with its environment; like a computer or the project
Biosphere 2 Biosphere 2 is an American Earth system science Earth system science (ESS) is the application of systems science Systems science is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or ...

Biosphere 2
. An
isolated system In physical science, an isolated system is either of the following: # a physical system In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , i ...
exchanges neither matter nor energy with its environment. A theoretical example of such system is the
Universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological description of the development ...

Universe
. ;Process and transformation process :An open system can also be viewed as a bounded transformation process, that is, a
black box In science, computing, and engineering, a black box is a system which can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs (or transfer characteristics), without any knowledge of its internal workings. Its implementation is "opaque" (black). The ter ...

black box
that is a process or collection of processes that transforms inputs into outputs. Inputs are consumed; outputs are produced. The concept of input and output here is very broad. For example, an output of a passenger ship is the movement of people from departure to destination. ;System model :A system comprises multiple views. Man-made systems may have such views as
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the bod ...

concept
,
analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Ari ...
,
design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype, product or process. The verb ''to design' ...
,
implementation Implementation is the realization of an application, or execution of a plan A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with details of timing and resources, used to achieve an Goal, objective to do something. It is commonly understood as ...

implementation
, deployment, structure, behavior, input data, and output data views. A system model is required to describe and represent all these views. ;Systems architecture :A
systems architecture A system architecture is the conceptual model A conceptual model is a representation Representation may refer to: Law and politics *Representation (politics) Political representation is the activity of making citizens "present" in public policy ...
, using one single integrated model for the description of multiple views, is a kind of system model.


Subsystem

A subsystem is a set of elements, which is a system itself, and a component of a larger system. The IBM Mainframe ''Job Entry Subsystem'' family (
JES1Job Entry Subsystem (JES), aka Job Entry Subsystem 1 (JES1), was released by IBM as an integral part of OS/VS1 as an enhancement to the basic functions that users of VS1's predecessor, OS/360 and successors#MFT, MFT, had. History IBM proclaimed JES1 ...
,
JES2 The Job Entry Subsystem (JES) is a component of IBM's MVS mainframe operating systems that is responsible for managing batch job, batch workloads. In modern times, there are two distinct implementations of the Job Entry System called JES2 and JES3. ...
,
JES3 The Job Entry Subsystem (JES) is a component of IBM's MVS mainframe operating systems that is responsible for managing batch job, batch workloads. In modern times, there are two distinct implementations of the Job Entry System called JES2 and JES3. ...
, and their HASP/
ASP ASP may refer to: Combat * ASP pistol * ASP, Inc., law enforcement weapon manufacturer ** A type of extending baton * Ammunition supply point or ammunition dump An ammunition dump, ammunition supply point (ASP), ammunition handling area (AHA ...
predecessors) are examples. The main ''elements'' they have in common are the components that handle input, scheduling, spooling and output; they also have the ability to interact with local and remote operators. A subsystem description is a system object that contains information defining the characteristics of an operating environment controlled by the system. The Data tests are performed to verify the correctness of the individual subsystem configuration data (e.g. MA Length, Static Speed Profile, …) and they are related to a single subsystem in order to test its Specific Application (SA).


Analysis

There are many kinds of systems that can be analyzed both
quantitatively
quantitatively
and qualitatively. For example, in an analysis of urban
systems dynamics System dynamics (SD) is an approach to understanding the nonlinearity, nonlinear behaviour of complex systems over time using Stock and flow, stocks, flows, internal feedback loops, table functions and time delays. Overview System dynamics is a ...

systems dynamics
, A .W. Steiss defined five intersecting systems, including the physical subsystem and behavioral system. For sociological models influenced by systems theory, Kenneth D. Bailey defined systems in terms of
conceptual Conceptual may refer to: Philosophy and Humanities *Concept *Conceptualism *Philosophical analysis (Conceptual analysis) *Theoretical definition (Conceptual definition) *Thinking about Consciousness (Conceptual dualism) *Pragmatism (Conceptual pra ...
,
concrete Concrete is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material Material is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a ter ...
, and abstract systems, either isolated, closed, or
open Open or OPEN may refer to: Music * Open (band) Open is a band. Background Drummer Pete Neville has been involved in the Sydney/Australian music scene for a number of years. He has recently completed a Masters in screen music at the Australia ...
. Walter F. Buckley defined systems in sociology in terms of
mechanical Mechanical may refer to: Machine * Mechanical system A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine A molecular machine, nan ...

mechanical
,
organic Organic may refer to: * Organic, of or relating to an organism, a living entity * Organic, of or relating to an anatomical organ (anatomy), organ Chemistry * Organic matter, matter that has come from a once-living organism, is capable of decay or ...
, and
process A process is a series or set of activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: Business and management *Business process A business process, business method ...
models. Bela H. Banathy cautioned that for any inquiry into a system understanding its kind is crucial, and defined "natural" and "designed", i. e. artificial, systems. It is important not to confuse these abstract definitions. For example, natural systems include subatomic systems,
living systems Living systems are open Open or OPEN may refer to: citizen * Open (band), Australian pop/rock band * The Open (band), English indie rock band * ''Open'' (Blues Image album), 1969 * ''Open'' (Gotthard album), 1999 * ''Open'' (Cowboy Junkies ...
, the
solar system The Solar SystemCapitalization of the name varies. The International Astronomical Union, the authoritative body regarding astronomical nomenclature, specifies capitalizing the names of all individual astronomical objects but uses mixed "Sola ...

solar system
,
galaxies A galaxy is a gravitationally bound system of star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its own gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, nearest star to ...

galaxies
, and the
Universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter and energy. The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological description of the development ...

Universe
, while artificial systems include man-made physical structures, hybrids of natural and artificial systems, and conceptual knowledge. The human elements of organization and functions are emphasized with their relevant abstract systems and representations. Artificial systems inherently have a major defect: they must be premised on one or more fundamental assumptions upon which additional knowledge is built. This is in strict alignment to the
Gödel's incompleteness theorems Gödel's incompleteness theorems are two theorems of mathematical logic Mathematical logic, also called formal logic, is a subfield of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (nu ...
. The Artificial system can be defined as a "consistent formalized system which contains elementary arithmetic". These fundamental assumptions are not inherently deleterious, but they must by definition be assumed as true, and if they are actually false then the system is not as structurally integral as is assumed (i.e. it is evident that if the initial expession is false, then the Artificial system is not a "consistent formalized system"). For example, in
geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mat ...

geometry
this is very evident in the postulation of
theorem In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ...
s and extrapolation of proofs from them.
George J. Klir George Jiří Klir (April 22, 1932 – May 27, 2016) was a Czech-American computer scientist A computer scientist is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, ...
maintained that no "classification is complete and perfect for all purposes", and defined systems as abstract,
real Real may refer to: * Reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only Object of the mind, imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, ind ...

real
, and
conceptual Conceptual may refer to: Philosophy and Humanities *Concept *Conceptualism *Philosophical analysis (Conceptual analysis) *Theoretical definition (Conceptual definition) *Thinking about Consciousness (Conceptual dualism) *Pragmatism (Conceptual pra ...
physical systems
physical systems
, bounded and unbounded systems, discrete to continuous, pulse to
hybrid systemA hybrid system is a dynamical system In mathematics, a dynamical system is a system in which a Function (mathematics), function describes the time dependence of a Point (geometry), point in a Manifold, geometrical space. Examples include the ma ...

hybrid system
s, etc. The interactions between systems and their environments are categorized as relatively closed and open systems. It seems most unlikely that an absolutely closed system can exist or, if it did, that it could be known by man. Important distinctions have also been made between ''hard'' systems – technical in nature and amenable to methods such as
systems engineering Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other f ...
, operations research, and quantitative systems analysis – and ''soft'' systems that involve people and organisations, commonly associated with concepts developed by
Peter Checkland Peter Checkland (born 18 December 1930, in Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest city, urban area and ES ...
and
Brian Wilson Brian Douglas Wilson (born June 20, 1942) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer who co-founded the Beach Boys. After signing with Capitol Records in 1962, Wilson wrote or co-wrote more than two dozen Top 40 hits for t ...
through
Soft Systems Methodology Soft systems methodology (SSM) is an approach to organizational process modelling ( business process modelling) and it can be used both for general problem solving and in the management of change. It was developed in England England is a Coun ...
(SSM) involving methods such as
action research Action research is a philosophy and methodology of research generally applied in the social sciences. It seeks transformative change through the simultaneous process of taking action and doing research, which are linked together by critical reflec ...
and emphasis of participatory designs. Where hard systems might be identified as more "scientific", the distinction between them is often elusive.


Cultural system

A cultural system may be defined as the interaction of different elements of
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
. While a cultural system is quite different from a
social system In sociology, social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal Social structure, structure of role and status that can form in a small ...
, sometimes both together are referred to as a "sociocultural system". A major concern of the social sciences is the problem of order.


Economic system

An economic system is a mechanism (
social institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent more than half a century at Harvard University Ha ...
) which deals with the
production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (goods and services) * Production as a statistic, g ...
,
distributionDistribution may refer to: Mathematics *Distribution (mathematics) Distributions, also known as Schwartz distributions or generalized functions, are objects that generalize the classical notion of functions in mathematical analysis. Distr ...
and
consumption Consumption may refer to: *Resource consumption *Tuberculosis, an infectious disease, historically in biology: * Consumption (ecology), receipt of energy by consuming other organisms in social sciences: * Consumption (economics), the purchasing of ...
of
goods In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant ...
and
services Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of Faculty (academic staff), university faculty * Civil service, the body of employees of a governm ...
in a particular
society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be ...

society
. The economic system is composed of
people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field wh ...

people
,
institutions Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior." Institutions can refer to social mechanism, mechanisms which govern the behavior of a set of individuals within a given community, and are id ...

institutions
and their relationships to resources, such as the
convention Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm), a custom or tradition, a standard of presentation or conduct ** Treaty, an agreement in international law * Convention (meeting), meeting of a (usually large) group of individuals and/or companies in a ...
of
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to consume, alter, share, r ...
. It addresses the problems of
economics Economics () is a social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interact ...

economics
, like the allocation and scarcity of resources. The international sphere of interacting states is described and analysed in systems terms by several international relations scholars, most notably in the neorealist school. This systems mode of international analysis has however been challenged by other schools of international relations thought, most notably the constructivist school, which argues that an over-large focus on systems and structures can obscure the role of individual agency in social interactions. Systems-based models of international relations also underlies the vision of the international sphere held by the liberal institutionalist school of thought, which places more emphasis on systems generated by rules and interaction governance, particularly economic governance.


Applications

Systems modeling is generally a basic principle in engineering and in social sciences. The system is the representation of the entities under concern. Hence inclusion to or exclusion from system context is dependent on the intention of the modeler. No model of a system will include all features of the real system of concern, and no model of a system must include all entities belonging to a real system of concern.


Information and computer science

In
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of computation, automation, a ...
and
information science Information science (also known as information studies) is an academic field which is primarily concerned with analysis, collection, classification Classification is a process related to categorization Categorization is the human ability a ...
, system is a hardware system, software system, or combination, which has
components Component may refer to: In engineering, science, and technology Generic systems *System A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounde ...
as its structure and observable
inter-process communication In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , ...
s as its behavior. Again, an example will illustrate: There are systems of counting, as with
Roman numerals Roman numerals are a that originated in and remained the usual way of writing numbers throughout Europe well into the . Numbers in this system are represented by combinations of letters from the . Modern style uses seven symbols, each with a ...
, and various systems for filing papers, or catalogues, and various library systems, of which the
Dewey Decimal Classification The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), colloquially the Dewey Decimal System, is a proprietary library classification A library book shelf in Hong Kong arranged using the Dewey classification A library classification is a system of knowledge ...
is an example. This still fits with the definition of components which are connected together (in this case to facilitate the flow of information). System can also refer to a framework, aka
platform Platform may refer to: Technology * Computing platform, a framework on which applications may be run * Platform game, a genre of video games * Car platform, a set of components shared by several vehicle models * Weapons platform, a system or s ...
, be it software or hardware, designed to allow software programs to run. A flaw in a component or system can cause the component itself or an entire system to fail to perform its required function, e.g., an incorrect
statement Statement or statements may refer to: Common uses *Statement (computer science), the smallest standalone element of an imperative programming language *Statement (logic), declarative sentence that is either true or false *Statement, a Sentence_(lin ...
or data definition


Engineering and physics

In
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more speciali ...

engineering
and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

physics
, a physical system is the portion of the universe that is being studied (of which a
thermodynamic system A thermodynamic system is a body of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, whic ...
is one major example). Engineering also has the concept of a system referring to all of the parts and interactions between parts of a complex project.
Systems engineering Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other f ...
is the branch of engineering that studies how this type of system should be planned, designed, implemented, built, and maintained. Expected
result A result (also called upshot) is the final consequence of a sequence In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes a ...

result
is the behavior predicted by the specification, or another source, of the component or system under specified conditions.


Sociology, cognitive science and management research

Social and
cognitive science Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge that is Educ ...

cognitive science
s recognize systems in human person models and in human societies. They include human brain functions and mental processes as well as normative ethics systems and social/cultural behavioral patterns. In
management science Management science (MS) is the broad interdisciplinary study of problem solving and decision making in human organizations, with strong links to management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a busin ...
, operations research and
organizational development Organization development (OD) is the study and implementation of practices, systems, and techniques that affect organizational change. The goal of which is to modify a group's (organization) performance and/or culture. The organizational change ...
(OD), human organizations are viewed as systems (conceptual systems) of interacting components such as subsystems or system aggregates, which are carriers of numerous complex
business processes A business process, business method or business function is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks by people or equipment in which a specific sequence produces a service or product (serves a particular business goal) for a partic ...
(
organizational behavior Organizational behavior (OB) or organisational behaviour is the: "study of human behavior Human behavior is the potential and expressed capacity (Energy (psychological), mentally, Physical activity, physically, and Social actions, socially ...
s) and organizational structures. Organizational development theorist
Peter Senge Peter Michael Senge (born 1947) is an American systems scientist who is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, co-faculty at the New England Complex Systems Institute, and the founder of the Society for Organizational Learnin ...

Peter Senge
developed the notion of organizations as systems in his book ''The Fifth Discipline''. Organizational theorists such as
Margaret WheatleyMargaret (Meg) Wheatley (born 1944) is an American writer, teacher, speaker, and management consultant who works to create organizations and communities worthy of human habitation.  She draws from many disciplines: organizational behavior, chaos the ...
have also described the workings of organizational systems in new metaphoric contexts, such as
quantum physics Quantum mechanics is a fundamental theory A theory is a rational Rationality is the quality or state of being rational – that is, being based on or agreeable to reason Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, ...
,
chaos theory Chaos theory is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other fields ...
, and the self-organization of systems.


Pure logic

There is also such a thing as a logical system. The most obvious example is the calculus developed simultaneously by
Leibniz Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz ; see inscription of the engraving depicted in the "#1666–1676, 1666–1676" section. ( – 14 November 1716) was a German polymath active as a mathematician, philosopher, scientist, and diplomat. He is a promin ...

Leibniz
and
Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics a ...

Isaac Newton
. Another example is
George Boole George Boole (; 2 November 1815 – 8 December 1864) was a largely self-taught Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) or self-education (also self-learning and self-teaching) is education Education is the process of facil ...

George Boole
's Boolean operators. Other examples have related specifically to philosophy, biology, or cognitive science.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs#REDIRECT Maslow's hierarchy of needs Maslow's hierarchy of needs is an idea in psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, ...

Maslow's hierarchy of needs
applies psychology to biology by using pure logic. Numerous psychologists, including
Carl Jung Carl Gustav Jung ( ; born Karl Gustav Jung, ; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961), was a Swiss psychiatrist A psychiatrist is a physician A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations ...

Carl Jung
and
Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud ( , ; born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist Neurology (from el, νεῦρον (neûron), "string, nerve" and the suffix -logia, "study of") is a branch of medicine M ...

Sigmund Freud
have developed systems which logically organize psychological domains, such as personalities, motivations, or intellect and desire. Often these domains consist of general categories following a
corollary In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and calculus, change (mathematical analysis, analysis). It h ...
such as a
theorem In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ge ...
. Logic has been applied to categories such as
taxonomy Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a specific classification scheme. Originally used only about biological ...
,
ontology Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existence, being, Becoming (philosophy), becoming, and reality. It includes the questions of how entities are grouped into Category of being, basic categories and which of these ...

ontology
,
assessment Assessment may refer to: Healthcare *Health assessment, identifies needs of the patient and how those needs will be addressed *Nursing assessment, gathering information about a patient's physiological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual st ...
, and
hierarchies A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. Hierarch ...
.


Strategic thinking

In 1988, military strategist, John A. Warden III introduced the model in his book, '' The Air Campaign'', contending that any complex system could be broken down into five concentric rings. Each ring—Leadership, Processes, Infrastructure, Population and Action Units—could be used to isolate key elements of any system that needed change. The model was used effectively by Air Force planners in the
First Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by coalition forces from 35 nations led by the United States against Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِر ...
. In the late 1990s, Warden applied his model to business strategy.2015to2021


See also

;Examples of systems *
Physical system A physical system is a collection of physical object A bubble of exhaled gas in water In common usage and classical mechanics, a physical object or physical body (or simply an object or body) is a collection of matter within a defined contigu ...
*
Conceptual systemA conceptual system is a system that is composed of non- physical objects, i.e. ideas or concepts. In this context a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a un ...
*
Complex system A complex system is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by it ...
*
Formal system A formal system is an abstract structure used for inferring theorems from axioms according to a set of rules. These rules, which are used for carrying out the inference of theorems from axioms, are the logical calculus of the formal system. A for ...
*
Information system An information system (IS) is a formal, sociotechnical, organizational system designed to collect, process, information storage, store, and information distribution, distribute information. From a sociotechnical perspective, information systems ar ...
*
Meta-system Meta-systems have several definitions. In general, they link the concepts "system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and ...
*
Solar System The Solar SystemCapitalization of the name varies. The International Astronomical Union, the authoritative body regarding astronomical nomenclature, specifies capitalizing the names of all individual astronomical objects but uses mixed "Sola ...

Solar System
* *
Market Market may refer to: *Market (economics) *Market economy *Marketplace, a physical marketplace or public market Geography *Märket, an island shared by Finland and Sweden Art, entertainment, and media Films *Market (1965 film), ''Market'' (1965 ...
*
Thermodynamic system A thermodynamic system is a body of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, whic ...
s ;Related topics * Glossary of systems theory *
Complexity Complexity characterises the behaviour of a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environme ...
*
Complexity theory and organizations Complexity theory and organizations, also called complexity strategy or complex adaptive organizations, is the use of the study of complexity systems in the field of strategic management and organizational studies. It draws from research in the ...
*
Black box In science, computing, and engineering, a black box is a system which can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs (or transfer characteristics), without any knowledge of its internal workings. Its implementation is "opaque" (black). The ter ...

Black box
*
System of systemsSystem of systems is a collection of task-oriented or dedicated systems that pool their resources and capabilities together to create a new, more complex system which offers more functionality and performance than simply the sum of the constituent sy ...
(
engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineering encompasses a broad range of more speciali ...
) *
Systems art, ''One and Three Chairs'' (1965) , Trans West, 1965. Systems art is art influenced by cybernetics, and systems theory, that reflects on natural systems, social systems and social signs of the art world itself. Systems art emerged as part of the fi ...


References


Bibliography


External links


''Definitions of Systems and Models''
by Michael Pidwirny, 1999–2007.

by Roland Müller.

by Roland Müller, (most in German). {{Authority control * Concepts in metaphysics