Portal:Systems science

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The Systems Science Portal

Complex adaptive system.svg
Complex systems approach

Systems are sets of entities, physical or abstract, comprising a whole where each component interacts with or is related to at least one other component and they all serve a common objective. The scientific research field which is engaged in the interdisciplinary study of universal system-based properties of the world is general system theory, systems science and recently systemics. This field investigates the abstract properties of matter and mind, and their organization, searching for concepts and principles which are independent of the specific domain, substance, and type of system, and of the spatial and/or temporal scales of its existence.

Systems science can be viewed as ... "a metalanguage of concepts and models for interdisciplinary use, still now evolving and far from being stabilized. This is the result of a slow process of accretion through inclusion and interconnection of many notions, which came and are still coming from very different disciplines. The process started more than a century ago, but has gathered momentum since 1948 through the pioneering work of Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Heinz von Foerster and W. Ross Ashby, among many others" (Charles François, 1999).

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Selected article

Systems art is art influenced by systems analysis, which reflects on natural systems, social systems and social signs of the art world itself. Systems art emerged as part of the first wave of the conceptual art movement extended in the 1960s and 1970s. Close related and overlapping terms are Anti-form movement, Cybernetic art, Generative Systems, Process art, Systems aesthetic, Systemic art, Systemic painting and Systems sculptures.

In systems art the concept and ideas of process related systems and systems theory are involved in the work and take precedence over traditional aesthetic object related and material concerns. Systems art is named by Jack Burnham in the 1968 Artforum article "Real Systems Art". Burnham had investigated the effects of science and technology on the sculpture of this century. He saw a dramatic contrast between the handling of the place-oriented object sculpture and the extreme mobility of Systems sculpture.


Selected picture


This image illustrates part of the Mandelbrot set fractal. The size of the JPEG file encoding the bitmap of this image is more than 17 kilobytes (approximately 140000 bits). The same file can be generated by a computer program much shorter than 140000 bits, however. Thus, the Kolmogorov complexity of the JPEG file encoding the bitmap is much less than 140000.


Selected systems scientist

Dennis Meadows.jpg

Dennis Meadows (1942) is an American scientist and professor of Systems Management and director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research at the University of New Hampshire.[1] He lives in Durham, New Hampshire. known as co-author of Limits to Growth.

"In 1972 it was inconceivable to most people that the physical impact of humanity’s activities could ever grow large enough to alter basic natural processes of the globe."[2] In that time "we had to talk in our first edition of Limits to Growth about future problems."[2] Their studies showed "that humanity’s activities were still below sustainable levels. Now they are above. In 1972 our recommendations told how to slow growth."[2] Now, Meadows said, "we must tell people how to manage an orderly reduction of their activities back down below the limits of the earth’s resources".[2]





Did you know

  • ...that a successful experimental system must be stable and reproducible enough for scientists to make sense of the system's behavior, but unpredictable enough that it can produce useful results?




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