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A schematic representation of a closed system and its boundary

A system is a set of interacting or interdependent component parts forming a complex/intricate whole.<ref>http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/system</ref>

Every system is delineated by its spatial and temporal boundaries, surrounded and influenced by its environment, described by its structure and purpose and expressed in its functioning.

Fields that study the general properties of systems include systems science, systems theory, systems modeling, systems engineering, cybernetics, dynamical systems, thermodynamics, complex systems, system analysis and design and systems architecture. They investigate the abstract properties of systems' matter and organization, looking for concepts and principles that are independent of domain, substance, type, or temporal scale.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

Some systems share common characteristics, including:{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

  • A system has structure, it contains parts (or components) that are directly or indirectly related to each other;
  • A system has behavior, it exhibits processes that fulfill its function or purpose;
  • A system has interconnectivity: the parts and processes are connected by structural and/or behavioral relationships;
  • A system's structure and behavior may be decomposed via subsystems and sub-processes to elementary parts and process steps;
  • A system has behavior that, in relativity to its surroundings, may be categorized as both fast and strong.

The term system may also refer to a set of rules that governs structure and/or behavior. Alternatively, and usually in the context of complex social systems, the term institution is used to describe the set of rules that govern structure and/or behavior.


System sections
Intro  Etymology  History  System concepts  Elements of a system: an example  Types of systems  Analysis of systems  Application of the system concept  See also  References  Bibliography  External links  

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