Concepts that characterize the structure, functioning and development...

Concepts that characterize the structure, functioning and development of systems

The usual interpretation of the concepts below ( element, link , etc.) does not always coincide with their meaning as special terms for system description and object analysis. Therefore, we briefly review the basic concepts that help to clarify the concept of the system.

Usually, it is common to divide concepts into two groups (Figure 1.3): 1) concepts that are part of the definition of the system and characterize its structure; 2) concepts that characterize the functioning and development of the system.

Fig. 1.3

Concepts characterizing the structure of the system

The concepts included in the definition of the system are closely related and, in the opinion of L. von Bertalanffy , can not be determined independently, but are determined, as a rule, one through another, refining each other, and therefore the sequence of their presentation here is conditional.

Item . An element is usually understood as the simplest, indivisible part of the system. However, the answer to the question what is such a part can be ambiguous.


As the elements of the table can be called "legs, boxes, lid, etc.", and you can - "atoms, molecules," depending on what task is facing the researcher.

Similarly, in the enterprise management system elements can be considered subdivisions of the management apparatus, and it is possible - for each employee or every operation that he performs. A misunderstanding of this problem was associated with a typical error in the examination of the existing control system as the first stage of the development of the automated control system: the engineers, in accordance with their completeness approach, analyzed all documents, up to the requisites, which significantly delayed the work, while for the development of the technical specification for the creation of the ASIS was not required for this detailing.

Therefore, we take the following definition: element - is the limit of the system's partition from the point of view of the aspect of considering , the solution of a specific task, the goal.

To help isolate elements when analyzing specific problem situations, you can, as shown in Ch. 3, use the information approach, and in particular, the measure of perception information J = A/ΔA, where DA is the minimum amount of material property A (quantum), to the accuracy of which the researcher is interested in information about this property when forming model. Examples of using this method of determining the element base will be given in Ch. 6-8 (in particular, in the modeling of the market situation).

The system can be divided into elements in various ways, depending on the formulation of the task, the goal and its refinement in the process of conducting a system study. If necessary, you can change the principle of dismemberment, select other elements and get a more adequate idea of ​​the analyzed object or problem situation with the help of the new partition.

Defining the element, I had to use the notion of a goal, which will be described below (the concepts included in the definition of the system, as noted above, can not be determined independently of each other), so an attempt was made not to use the concept of the goal, with it the notion of the aspect of the consideration, of the problem, although it is more accurate to use the concept of the goal.

Components and subsystems. Sometimes the term element are used in a broader sense, even in cases where the system can not be immediately divided into components that are the limit of its division. However, in the case of multi-level system partitioning, it is better to use other terms provided for in system theory: complex systems are generally first divided into subsystems, or components.

The concept of subsystem implies that a relatively independent part of the system is identified that has the properties of the system, and in particular, has a sub-goal for achieving which the subsystem is oriented, as well as other properties - integrity, communicativity, etc., determined by the regularities of the systems considered in paragraph 1.6.

If the parts of the system do not have such properties, but are simply sets of homogeneous elements, then such parts are usually called components.

By dissecting the system into subsystems, it should be borne in mind that, just as in the case of partitioning into elements, the allocation of subsystems depends on the goal and can change as it is refined and the researcher's ideas about the analyzed object or problem situation develop.

Link . The concept of connection enters into any definition of the system and ensures the emergence and preservation of its integral properties. This concept simultaneously characterizes both the structure (statics) and the functioning (dynamics) of the system.

Communication is defined as a limitation of the degree of freedom of elements. Indeed, the elements interacting with each other lose some of their properties that they potentially possessed in a free state.

In the definitions of the system, the terms connection and relation are commonly used as synonyms. However, there are different points of view: some researchers consider the relationship as a special case of relations; others - on the contrary, the relation is considered as a special case of third - suggest the concept of "link to use to describe the statics of a system, its structure, and the concept of a relation to characterize certain actions in the process of functioning (dynamics) of the system. The question of the adequacy and completeness of the network of links is not resolved (and, apparently, hardly can be solved in general form) in order for the system to be considered a system. One of the approaches to the solution of this problem is proposed, for example, by VI Nikolaev and V. M. Brook [51], who believe that in order for the system not to split up into parts, it is necessary to ensure that the total force (power) of the links between the elements of the system is exceeded; internal connections , over the total power of the links between the elements of the system and the elements of the environment, i.e. external links :


Unfortunately, in practice, such measurements (especially in organizational systems) are difficult to implement, but trends in this ratio can be estimated with the help of indirect factors.

Links can be characterized by direction, strength, character (or kind). On the first sign of the connection is divided into directional and non-directional. On the second - on the strong and weak (sometimes trying to enter the "scale" link strengths for a specific task). By nature (type) distinguish the relationship of submission, generation (or genetic), equitable (or indifferent), management.

Relationships in specific systems can be simultaneously characterized by several of these characteristics.

An important role in the modeling of systems is played by the concept of feedback, whose models are given in paragraph 2.6. Feedback is the basis of self-regulation, the development of systems, their adaptation to changing conditions of existence.

Multi-contour models of economic system management were offered, for example, in the dictionary-reference book on mathematics and cybernetics in economics [53]. When developing models for the operation of complex self-regulating, self-organizing systems, they tend to have both negative and positive feedbacks at the same time. The use of these concepts is based, in particular, on imitation dynamic modeling [88].

Goal . The concept of purpose and related concepts expediency and targeting underlie the development of the system.

A lot of attention is paid to the study of these concepts in philosophy, psychology, cybernetics.

The process of goal-setting and the corresponding process of justifying goals in organizational systems is very complicated. Throughout the period of the development of philosophy and the theory of cognition, there has been a development of ideas about the goal (the history of the development of the concept "goal" can be found in the book MG Makarov [52]). .

Analysis of the definitions of the goal and related concepts shows that, depending on the stage of cognition of the object, the stage of system analysis, the concept of "target" (see Figure 1.4) - from ideal aspirations (the goal is the expression of the activity of consciousness [52]; man and social systems have the right to formulate goals, the achievement of which, like they are known to be impossible, but to which one can continually approach [13]), to specific goals - the final results, achievable within a certain interval of time, sometimes formulated even in terms of the final product of activity [66, 67].

In some definitions, the target is transformed, taking different shades within the conditional "scale" - from ide -

Fig. 1.4

of the aspirations to the material incarnation, the final result of the activity.

For example, M. G. Makarov [52], along with the above definition, the goal refers to "what aspires, what worships and for what is fighting a person ( fights implies reachability in a certain time interval); L . A. Rastrigin and P. C. Grave [30, 70], under the goal understand the "model of the desired future" (here, the concept of "model" can be invested with various shades of realizability), and, in addition, a concept is introduced that characterizes the variety of the goal, and in addition, the concept "dream" is introduced; - This is a goal not provided with the means to achieve it " [30]. The contradiction implied in the concept of purpose - the need to be a motivation for action advanced reflection (the term is introduced by PK Anokhin ), or advanced idea ; and at the same time a material embodiment of this idea, i.e. to be attainable, has been manifested since the inception of this concept: thus, the ancient Indian concept of "artha" including both the meanings of the terms motive & quot ;, cause & quot ;, desire & quot ;, target and even - the "method".

In United States there was no term "goal" at all. This term is borrowed from German and has a meaning close to the concepts target & quot ;, finish, hit point & quot ;. There are several terms in English reflecting different shades of the concept of the goal, within the "scale" under consideration.


Purpose (goal is intention, purposefulness, will), object and objective (goal is the direction of action, direction of movement), aim (goal is aspiration, sight, direction), goal (target is the destination, task), target (the target is the target for shooting, plan), end (goal - finish, end, end, limit).

The essence of the dialectical interpretation of the concept of the goal is revealed in the theory of knowledge, which shows the interrelationship of the concepts purpose, evaluation, means, integrity (and its self-movement).

Studying the interconnection of these concepts shows that, in principle, the behavior of the same system can be described in terms of the goal or target functionals linking the goals with the means of achieving them (such a representation is called axiological [53]), and without mentioning concepts of the goal, in terms of the direct influence of some elements or the parameters describing them on others, in terms of "state spaces" (or causally.) Therefore, the same situation, depending on the propensity and previous experience of the researcher, can be represented in one way or another.In most practical situations it is better to understand and describe the state of the system and its future allows a combination of these representations.

In order to reflect the dialectical contradiction embodied in the concept of "goal", the following definition is given to the TSB: the goal is the "pre-conceivable result of the conscious activity of a person, a group of people."

Pre-conceivable & quot ;, but still result & quot ;, the embodiment of the design; It is also emphasized that the concept of purpose is connected with the person, his "conscious activity", i.e. with the presence of consciousness, and to characterize purposeful, negentropic tendencies at lower stages of the development of matter, it is customary to use other terms.

This understanding of the goal is very important in the organization of collective decision-making processes in management systems.

In real situations, it is necessary to stipulate in what sense at this stage of the system's consideration the concept "goal" is used, which should be more reflected in its formulation - Ideal aspirations that will help the collective of individuals, decision makers, see the prospects, or real opportunities, ensuring the timeliness of the completion of the next stage on the way to the desired future.

Analysis of the definitions of the concept "goal" and the graphic interpretation of the "blur" philosophical interpretations of the goal (see Figure 1.4), have become an important step on the way to the practical implementation of goal-formation processes.

In later works In. A. Chabrovsky, GM Vapna, A. M. Gendin was developed very useful for practical application of the idea of ​​two different concepts of the goal: "the purpose of the activity" (actual, specific goal) and endless in content goal - aspiration (the goal is an ideal, a potential goal) [20]; the concept of the analysis of the process of formulating and structuring goals from the standpoint of dialectical logic was proposed, and an idea was expressed about the unity of purpose, the means (option) for achieving it, and the evaluation criterion.

Structure . The system can be represented, as already noted, by a simple enumeration of the elements or by a black box (model "input-output"). However, most often when researching an object this representation is not enough, as it is required to find out what the object is, what it accomplishes the set goal, and obtain the required results. In these cases, the system is mapped by subdivision into subsystems, components, elements with interrelations that can have a different character, and introduce the concept of structure & quot ;.

Structure (from Latin structure, meaning structure, location, order) reflects the "certain interrelationships, the arrangement of the component parts of the system, its arrangement , structure .

However, in complex systems, the structure does not include all the elements and the connections between them (in the extreme case, when the concept of structure is applied to simple, completely deterministic objects, the concepts of structure and system coincide), but only the most essential components and connections that little change with the current functioning of the system and ensure the existence of the system and its basic properties. In other words, the structure characterizes the organization of the system, the stable ordering of elements and connections.

Structural connections have relative independence from elements and can act as an invariant in the transition from one system to another, transferring the patterns revealed and reflected in the structure of one of them to the others. In this case, the systems can have a different physical nature.

The same system can be represented by different structures depending on the stage of cognition of objects or processes, from the aspect of their consideration, the purpose of creation. However, as the research progresses or during the design process, the structure of the system may change.

Structures, especially hierarchical ones, as shown below, can help in uncovering the uncertainty of complex systems. In other words, structural representations of systems are a means of their investigation.

In this connection, it is useful to select certain types (classes) of structures and to study them, which is discussed in more detail in paragraph 1.3.

thematic pictures

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