A system is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole or a set of elements (often called 'components' ) and relationships which are different from relationships of the set or its elements to other elements or sets.
Fields that study the general properties of systems include systems theory, cybernetics, dynamical systems, thermodynamics, and complex systems. 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.
Some systems share common characteristics, including:
- A system has structure, it contains parts (or components) that are directly or indirectly related to each other;
- A system has behavior, it contains processes that transform inputs into outputs (material, energy or data);
- 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.
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.
Famous quotes containing the word system:
“Authority is the spiritual dimension of power because it depends upon faith in a system of meaning that decrees the necessity of the hierarchical order and so provides for the unity of imperative control.”
—Shoshana Zuboff (b. 1951)
“Daily life is governed by an economic system in which the production and consumption of insults tends to balance out.”
—Raoul Vaneigem (b. 1934)
“The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological controlindoctrination we might sayexercised through the mass media.”
—Noam Chomsky (b. 1928)