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:
“Television is an excellent system when one has nothing to lose, as is the case with a nomadic and rootless country like the United States, but in Europe the affect of television is that of a bulldozer which reduces culture to the lowest possible denominator.”
—Marc Fumaroli (b. 1932)
“We now come to the grand law of the system in which we are placed, as it has been developed by the experience of our race, and that, in one word, is SACRIFICE!”
—Catherine E. Beecher (18001878)
“The system was breaking down. The one who had wandered alone past so many happenings and events began to feel, backing up along the primal vein that led to his center, the beginning of hiccup that would, if left to gather, explode the center to the extremities of life, the suburbs through which one makes ones way to where the country is.”
—John Ashbery (b. 1927)