Systems science is an interdisciplinary field that studies the nature of systems—from simple to complex—in nature, society, cognition, engineering, technology and science itself. To systems scientists, the world can be understood as a system of systems. The field aims to develop interdisciplinary foundations that are applicable in a variety of areas, such as psychology, biology, medicine, communication, business management, engineering, and social sciences.
Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering, that focuses on the development and organization of complex artificial systems. Systems engineering is defined by INCOSE as "a branch of engineering whose responsibility is creating and executing an interdisciplinary process to ensure that customer and stakeholder's needs are satisfied in a high quality, trustworthy, cost efficient and schedule compliant manner throughout a system's entire life cycle, from development to operation to disposal. This process is usually comprised of the following seven tasks: State the problem, Investigate alternatives, Model the system, Integrate, Launch the system, Assess performance, and Re-evaluate. The systems engineering process is not sequential: the tasks are performed in a parallel and iterative manner."
Systems engineering techniques are used in complex projects: from spacecraft to chip design, from robotics to creating large software products to building bridges, Systems engineering uses a host of tools that include modeling & simulation, requirements analysis, and scheduling to manage complexity.
This image illustrates part of the Mandelbrot setfractal. 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.