Part I: Introduction to Systems Science.- A Helicopter View.- Systems Principles in the Real World: Understanding Drug Resistant TB.- Part II: Structural and Functional Aspects.- Organized Wholes.- Networks: Connections Within and Without.- Complexity.- Behavior: System Dynamics.- Part III: The Intangible Aspects of Organization: Maintaining and Adapting.- Information, Meaning, Knowledge, and Communications.- Computational Systems.- Cybernetics: The Role of Information and Computation in Systems.- Part IV: Evolution.- Auto-Organization and Emergence.- Evolution.- Part V: Methodological Aspects.- Systems Analysis.- Systems Modeling.- Systems Engineering.
This pioneering text provides a comprehensive introduction to systems structure, function, and modeling as applied in all fields of science and engineering. Systems understanding is increasingly recognized as a key to a more holistic education and greater problem solving skills, and is also reflected in the trend toward interdisciplinary approaches to research on complex phenomena. While the concepts and components of systems science will continue to be distributed throughout the various disciplines, undergraduate degree programs in systems science are also being developed, including at the authors' own institutions. However, the subject is approached, systems science as a basis for understanding the components and drivers of phenomena at all scales should be viewed with the same importance as a traditional liberal arts education.
Principles of Systems Science contains many graphs, illustrations, side bars, examples, and problems to enhance understanding. From basic principles of organization, complexity, abstract representations, and behavior (dynamics) to deeper aspects such as the relations between information, knowledge, computation, and system control, to higher order aspects such as auto-organization, emergence and evolution, the book provides an integrated perspective on the comprehensive nature of systems. It ends with practical aspects such as systems analysis, computer modeling, and systems engineering that demonstrate how the knowledge of systems can be used to solve problems in the real world. Each chapter is broken into parts beginning with qualitative descriptions that stand alone for students who have taken intermediate algebra. The second part presents quantitative descriptions that are based on pre-calculus and advanced algebra, providing a more formal treatment for students who have the necessary mathematical background. Numerous examples of systems from every realm of
Serves as a textbook for teaching systems fundamentals in any discipline or for use in an introductory course in systems science degree programs
Addresses a wide range of audiences with different levels of mathematical sophistication
Includes open-ended questions in special boxes intended to stimulate integrated thinking and class discussion
Describes numerous examples of systems in science and society
Captures the trend towards interdisciplinary research and problem solving