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Gheorge Asachi Technical Uniovarsity of Iasi Faculty of Civil Engeneering and Building Service

Master:Strcutural Engineering in English

Home Work No. 1

Systems Theory
Master student: Moraru Gabriel

Iasi, June 2013

Home work No.1 Systems Theory

1. Definition 1.1 Systems theory or general systems theory or systemics is an interdisciplinary field which studies systems as a whole. Systems theory was founded by Ludwig von Bertalanffy, William Ross Ashby and others between the 1940s and the 1970s on principles from physics, biology and engineering and later grew into numerous fields including philosophy, sociology, organizational theory, management, psychotherapy (within family systems therapy) and economics among others. Cybernetics is a closely related field. In recent times complex systems has increasingly been used as a synonym. 1.2 Systems theory is the interdisciplinary study of systems in general, with the goal of elucidating principles that can be applied to all types of systems at all nesting levels in all fields of research. The term does not yet have a well-established, precise meaning, but systems theory can reasonably be considered a specialization of systems thinking, a generalization of systems science, a systems approach. The term originates from Bertalanffy's general system theory (GST) and is used in later efforts in other fields, such as the action theory of Talcott Parsons and the social systems theory of Niklas Luhmann. 1.3 Systems theory is a science which has the comparative study of systems as its object. There are different types of systems: organisms (animals, humans, particularly cognitive mechanisms in organisms), machines (particularly computers), physicochemical systems, psychic systems and social systems. Such a comparative research program for heterogeneous types of systems presupposes a highly general concept of systems, for which numerous features have been proposed: the interdependency of the parts of a system; the reference of any structure and process in a system to the environments of the system; equilibrium and adaptedness and continuous re-adaptations to environmental demands as core elements of the understanding of a system; self-organization of a system as the principal way it responds to external intervention; complexity as trigger mechanism for systemformation and as the form which describes the internal network structures of connectedness among system elements. 2. Clasification In the branch concerned with work in the systems sciences as such, we can distinguish between the purely theoretical development of systems ideas and their interrelationships, and work aiming to develop systems ideas useful to interpreting and/or handling real-world situations. General evolution theory is an example of the former, while the development of social systems design methodology is an example of the latter. There are others
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Master student Moraru Gabriel

examples as well, leading to a three-fold distinction: 2.1 hard systems approaches (such as are employed in systems engineering), 2.2 soft systems approaches (such as are drawn upon in humanistic psychology), and mixed systems approaches such as those employed in operations research used as an aid to decision-making. The classification of systems into hard and soft represents an effort to draw attention both to the degree of knowledge about a system, and about the system's aims or purposes. Checkland developed this classification to represent two ends of a continuum. Hard systems are more easy to define and have more clear-cut aims or purposes. They are typically the subject matter of engineers concerned with realworld problem-solving: mechanisms, machines, aircraft, and power plants are examples. Simplicity of purpose and clarity of boundary, however, do not necessarily mean ease of design, operation, or maintenance: hard systems, as we know, can indeed be highly complex. At the other extreme are soft systems, characterized by human beings as their principal components. Such systems are difficult to define; they do not have clear-cut and agreed aims or purposes. At the level of the individual psyche there are multiple processes of perception, interpretation, representation, explanation, and communication that push and pull at our individual and collective cognitive maps as they shape our subjective image of phenomena and events. At the level of a multiperson organization there are frequently different and conflicting aims operating simultaneously. In both cases, the images and the aims of the system, even if agreed upon, may change over time. 2.1.1 Systems engineering The term systems engineering can be traced back to Bell Telephone Laboratories in the 1940s. The need to identify and manipulate the properties of a system as a whole, which in complex engineering projects may greatly differ from the sum of the parts' properties, motivated the Department of Defense, NASA, and other industries to apply the discipline. Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary approach and means for enabling the realization and deployment of successful systems. It can be viewed as the application of engineering techniques to the engineering of systems, as well as the application of a systems approach to engineering efforts. Systems engineering integrates other disciplines and specialty groups into a team effort, forming a structured development process that proceeds from concept to production to operation and disposal. Systems engineering considers both the business and the
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Home work No.1 Systems Theory

technical needs of all customers, with the goal of providing a quality product that meets the user needs. Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering that focuses on how to design and manage complex engineering projects over their life cycles. Issues such as reliability, logistics, coordination of different teams (requirement management), evaluation measurements, and other disciplines become more difficult when dealing with large, complex projects. Systems engineering deals with work-processes, optimization methods, and risk management tools in such projects. It overlaps technical and human-centered disciplines such as control engineering, industrial engineering,organizational studies, and project management. Systems Engineering ensures that all likely aspects of a project or system are considered, and integrated into a whole. 3. Modeling 3.1 Origins and traditional scope When it was no longer possible to rely on design evolution to improve upon a system and the existing tools were not sufficient to meet growing demands, new methods began to be developed that addressed the complexity directly. The continuing evolution of systems engineering comprises the development and identification of new methods and modeling techniques. These methods aid in better comprehension of engineering systems as they grow more complex. Popular tools that are often used in the systems engineering context were developed during these times, including USL, UML, QFD, and IDEF0. In 1990, a professional society for systems engineering, the National Council on Systems Engineering (NCOSE), was founded by representatives from a number of U.S. corporations and organizations. NCOSE was created to address the need for improvements in systems engineering practices and education. As a result of growing involvement from systems engineers outside of the U.S., the name of the organization was changed to the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) in 1995. Schools in several countries offer graduate programs in systems engineering, and continuing education options are also available for practicing engineers. A system model is the conceptual model that describes and represents a system. A system comprises multiple views such as planning, requirement (analysis), design,implementation, deployment, structure, behavior, input data, and output data views. A system model is required to describe and represent all these multiple views.

Master student Moraru Gabriel

The system model describes and represents the multiple views possibly using two different approaches. The first one is the non-architectural approach and the second one is the architectural approach. The non-architectural approach respectively picks a model for each view. For example, Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM), picking the Structure Chart(SC) for structure description and the Data Flow Diagram (DFD) for behavior description, is categorized into the non-architectural approach. The architectural approach, instead of picking many heterogeneous and unrelated models, will use only one single coalescence model. For example, System architecture, using the Architecture Description Language (ADL) for both structure and behavior descriptions, is categorized into the architectural approach. 3.2 Scope One way to understand the motivation behind systems engineering is to see it as a method, or practice, to identify and improve common rules that exist within a wide variety of systems. Keeping this in mind, the principles of systems engineering holism, emergent behavior, boundary, et al. can be applied to any system, complex or otherwise, provided systems thinking is employed at all levels. Besides defense and aerospace, many information and technology based companies, software development firms, and industries in the field of electronics & communications require systems engineers as part of their team. An analysis by the INCOSE Systems Engineering center of excellence (SECOE) indicates that optimal effort spent on systems engineering is about 15-20% of the total project effort. At the same time, studies have shown that systems engineering essentially leads to reduction in costs among other benefits. However, no quantitative survey at a larger scale encompassing a wide variety of industries has been conducted until recently. Such studies are underway to determine the effectiveness and quantify the benefits of systems engineering. Systems engineering encourages the use of modeling and simulation to validate assumptions or theories on systems and the interactions within them. Use of methods that allow early detection of possible failures, in safety engineering, are integrated into the design process. At the same time, decisions made at the beginning of a project whose consequences are not clearly understood can have enormous implications later in the life of a system, and it is the task of the modern systems engineer to explore these issues and make critical decisions. No method guarantees today's decisions will still be valid when a system goes into service years or decades after first conceived. However, there are techniques that support the process of systems engineering. Examples include soft systems methodology, Jay Wright Forrester's System dynamics method, and theUnified Modeling Language (UML)all currently being explored, evaluated, and developed to support the engineering decision process.
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Home work No.1 Systems Theory

Bibliography
1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_engineering 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systems_theory 3. http://www.statpac.org/walonick/systems-theory.htm 4. Systems Theories:Their Origins, Foundations, and Development-By Alexander Laszlo and Stanley Krippner