ELEMENTS OF THE SYSTEM THEORY, The main prerequisites for the...


Developed competencies:


• the main prerequisites and tasks of the theory of systems and other interdisciplinary scientific directions;

• The place of the theory of systems among other scientific directions;

• the definition of the system and the basic concepts that characterize the structure and functioning of systems;

• types and classifications of systems;

• approaches to the research and design of systems and the possibilities of their application for the study of information systems;

• methods of modeling systems and the possibility of their application in the modeling of information processes and systems;

be able to

• choose an approach to the research and design of the information system;

• justify the choice of methods for modeling information processes and systems;


• skills in the application of concepts, patterns, approaches and methods of systems theory, necessary for the study or design of an information system for a particular organization.

In order to explain the principles of the construction and operation of information systems, information on the basic concepts, approaches, methods of system theory and other interdisciplinary directions is needed.

Therefore, in this chapter, we consider the basic prerequisites for the emergence and tasks of the theory of systems and other interdisciplinary directions, we give the main terminology of the theory of systems, approaches to the study and design of systems, and methods for modeling systems. Included information on methods that have not yet been applied in existing studies of information systems

and processes, but will be used in part in the chapter on promising directions for the development of this theory.

The main prerequisites for the emergence and tasks of the theory of systems and other interdisciplinary directions

By the XX century. there were two forms of culture - natural and humanitarian, differing in methods of cognition.

Humanitarian knowledge forms an image, integrity, and formal thinking provides a mapping of elements and laws of their interaction. Humanitarian knowledge is associated with the definition of meaning, purpose, expediency (teleology) and the purpose of the phenomena and processes studied. The peak of humanitarian knowledge is traditionally considered to be philosophy. The formal - is traditionally based on mathematics.

In the European culture, formal methods were more preferable and developed. At the same time in the XIX-XX centuries. a number of problems arose that could not be explained with the help of formal methods. To solve these problems, the mechanical concept, which turned into a physical-mathematical one, turned out to be insufficient. The evolving dialectical concept explained the objectivity of contradictions and even their necessity for the existence and development of a complex world, but did not have a formalized apparatus preferred by European science.

There were attempts to spread the knowledge of physical and mathematical methods to the humanities - physicalism. With the help of physicalism, some problems were explained. However, by the mid-20th century. the crisis of the concept of physicalism became obvious, which led to the emergence of integral concepts that unite the possibilities of humanitarian and formal thinking.

Formal methods do not allow to reveal the content of the studied processes, to understand their integrity, although they can help speed up the processing of available information, activate the intuition and experience of specialists, including with humanitarian thinking to reveal new information, and display the laws of interaction of components obtained empirically.

Analysis of the content, the study of the processes of setting tasks allowed us to pay attention to the special role of man: the person is the bearer of a holistic perception, the preservation of integrity in the dismemberment of the problem, the distribution of research and design of systems, the bearer of a system of values, decision criteria (the term the person making the decision "- LPR).

Development of scientific knowledge and its applications to practical activities in the XVIII-XIX centuries. led to an increasing differentiation of scientific and applied directions. Many special disciplines have arisen. Special disciplines for the study of specific applied problems often use similar formal methods, but they are so refractive to the needs of specific applications that specialists working in different applied fields cease to understand each other.

The French mathematician Jacques Hadamard , exploring the process of invention, discovered that to enhance the effectiveness of the creative process, both forms of thinking and switching from one form to another are needed.

After realizing the need to integrate humanitarian and formal knowledge between philosophy and mathematics, a spectrum of disciplines has emerged that combine the means of humanitarian cognition that helps to reflect the content of the cognizable object and formal methods that reflect the studied laws of the structure and functioning of objects and processes that thus help in choosing approach to researching and developing models of specific systems and processes in the foreseeable future.

In the XX century. the number of complex projects and problems demanding the participation of specialists from various fields of knowledge began to increase sharply. There was a need for specialists of the "wide profile" who have knowledge of only in their field, but also in related fields and are able to generalize, use analogies, and form complex models. The concept of the system, previously used in the ordinary sense, turned into a special general scientific category, interdisciplinary scientific directions began to appear, which historically sometimes appeared in parallel on different applied or theoretical bases and had different names. 1

For the development of common generalized terms, a single language of communication between representatives of different sciences N. Wiener and J. von Neumann in 1943 gathered for a seminar in Princeton scientists of many specialties (neurophysiologists, engineers, signal engineers, computer designers, etc.). For the title of the new science of general principles of control in living organisms and machines, the term "cybernetics", the cybernetic approach, which can be regarded as the first integral concept of natural science combining humanitarian and formal knowledge, was adopted. However, in the future, in connection with the ambiguous interpretation of the term "cybernetics" and its use in many works (especially foreign ones), connected with the development of technical analogs of living organisms, this term began to be used in a narrower sense - as one of the directions of the theory of systems dealing with the management of technical objects.

To generalize the disciplines associated with the study and design of complex objects of a different nature, there have arisen: systems theory and a systems approach.

The founder of systems theory is the biologist L. von Bertalanffy , which in the 30s. XX century. introduced the notion of an open system and formulated the basic ideas and patterns of a general direction called systems theory.

An important contribution to the development of systemic representations was introduced at the beginning of the nineteenth century. (even before Bertalanffy) our compatriot A. A. Bogdanov (Alexander Aleksandrovich Malinovsky ) . However, due to historical reasons, the proposed general organizational science - tectology (from the Greek "tecton" - builder) did not find distribution and practical application.

In the 70's. XX century. there was an additional need for interdisciplinary directions. With the development of scientific and technical progress, the products manufactured, the technology of production become more complex, its range and range are being expanded, the frequency of turnover of manufactured products and technologies is increasing, the science intensity of products is increasing, and the needs of the population are growing. All this leads to the complication of human relationships with nature, to depletion of the Earth's resources, to environmental problems. As a result, the processes of managing the economy become more complicated, there is a need to control the scientific and technological progress. This problem was first time in our country in the 1960s. drew attention to academician In. M. Glushkov .

In developed capitalist countries, the importance of managing scientific and technological progress and the difficulties facing the way to solve this problem were realized about the same time.

In the US, in particular, since the 50's. XX century. Intensive scientific research on this issue was conducted in special, so-called "thinking", non-profit corporations (such as the well-known corporation RAND). The result of these studies was the creation of the first method of system analysis - PATTERN, which is based on the formation and analysis of the "target tree", and other methods widely used in the US by government bodies and large industrial corporations for forecasting and management in conditions of accelerating NTP.

In our country, to solve the problem of economic management, first the Institute of Cybernetics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR under the leadership of V. M. Glushkov conducted studies that explain the complexity of management as civilization develops and the role of information in the management processes increases.

In particular, VM Glushkov introduced the concept of "information barrier".

The first information barrier was passed at a time when economic ties were completely closed within the bounds of limited collectives (clan, family, tribe) and the complexity of management of this collective began to surpass the abilities of one person. This happened many millennia ago and caused corresponding changes in management technologies that consisted of the invention of two mechanisms of economic management: the first - the creation of hierarchical control systems (in which the manager gets his assistants, and those in turn distribute functions between their subordinates) ; the second mechanism is the introduction of rules for the relationship between people and social collectives: enterprises, regions, states, etc. (these functions were originally performed by religion, and later by the legislative system).

The second information barrier is associated with a limited ability to perceive and process information by the entire able-bodied population of the country. Studies of the Institute of Cybernetics of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR showed that the complexity of the tasks of managing the economy grows faster than the number of people employed in it, and that if we continue to govern the country by previous methods based on the priority of the principle of control and processing of accounting information, then in the late 1970s. almost all the able-bodied population of the country would have to be engaged in the management of only material production.

Theoretical studies on trends in the growth of the number of managerial staff were confirmed by statistics.

For example, in the United States at the beginning of this century, one office worker accounted for 40 workers, in 1940 - 10, in 1958 - 6, and in 1965. - only 1 worker. Domestic statistics similarly stated the growth of the number of management personnel to 40% of the total number of employees.

In order to solve the problem of managing socio-economic objects and scientific and technical progress in general, VM Glushkov was initially asked to use the automation of management (and in the mid-1960s, the development of automated control systems - ACS), the creation of which initiated the development of cybernetics, systems theory and information systems theory.

However, in the future it became clear that more radical changes in the governance of the country, taking into account the patterns of functioning and development of complex systems with active elements, the development of special methods for their modeling.

In the 1970s. to improve the efficiency of management in the USSR, it was decided to follow the path of improving the program-target management mechanism.

A number of resolutions of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the documents developing them were prepared and adopted, which determined the procedure for the development of forecasts, basic directions for development, comprehensive programs, long-term plans at all levels of the state structure - from the country as a whole to regions, associations and enterprises. To manage the scientific and technical progress of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the State Planning Committee of the USSR, special commissions were set up that prepared forecasts and the main directions of the country's economic and social development (these reforms are called Kosygin, since they were initiated by the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers of that period strong> A. Kosygin ).

In implementing these documents and in the work of these commissions, methods of system analysis were used, and in particular - patterns of pricing and methodology for structuring goals, which put system analysis in a special position among other scientific directions and contributed to its development and introduction into the learning process.

In our country, in the beginning, the theory of systems was actively developed by philosophers. They developed the conceptual framework, terminological apparatus, studied the patterns of functioning and development of complex systems, posed other problems associated with the philosophical and general scientific foundations of systemic research. The philosophers proposed a number of variants of the theory of systems ( VN Sadovsky , AI Uyomov, Yu. A Urmantsev, VS Tyukhtin ) , etc.

However, philosophical terminology is not always easily refracted to practical activity. Therefore, the needs of practice led to the fact that in the 60s. XX century. when setting and researching complex problems of design and management, the following terms were widely used:

System Engineering , proposed when translating the book G. Guda and P. Makola System Engineering in 1962, F. E. Temnikov (the founder of the first in the country department, developing the theory of systems, created in the Moscow Power Engineering Institute and named the Department of System Engineering) and widely used in the subsequent for technical systems;

theology, proposed in 1965 And. B. Novik , independently - In. T. Kulik , used B. S. Fleischmann . V. V. Druzhinin , D. S. Kontorov and others

These terms are used in applied systems theory directions.

Domestic and foreign scientists specializing in the fields of mathematics, engineering, economics have been offered a number of options for the theory of systems.

In parallel directions developed related systems theory: operations research (this direction emerged for the study of military operations, was used in various spheres), simulation modeling, situational modeling, synergetics, information approach.

Thus, between philosophy and mathematics, a range of scientific directions develops with varying degrees of combination of humanitarian and formal knowledge (Table 3.1).

Table 3.1

Interdisciplinary research areas


Occurrence Period

The most famous scientists




A. A. Bogdanov (Malinovsky)

System Theory


L. von Bertalanffy, K. Boulding, J. van Gig, M. Mesarovic

System approach

In the USSR - the 1960s

B. G. Afanasyev, I. V. Blauberg, C. P. Nikanorov, V. N. Sadovsky, V.V. S. Tyukhtin, AI Uyomov, Yu. A. Urmantsev, E. G. Yudin and others

System analysis (applied theory of systems)


RAND-corporation, E. Kweid, V. King, D. Cliland, S. Optner, S. Yang, E. Yanch


E. II. Golubkov, NN Moiseev, Yu. I. Chernyak, F.I. Peregudov, VN Sagatovsky, FP Tarasenko, V. 3. Yampolsky, SA Valuev, V.N. Volkova

The beginning of the XXI century.

Yu. I. Degtyarev, A. A. Emelyanov, G. B. Kleiner, V. N. Kozlov



And. Prigogine, I. Stengers, G. Haken, A. P. Rudenko and others



Q. T. Kulik, IB Novik,

B. S. Fleishman, BF Fomin, and others.

Information field theory and information approach


A. A. Denisov

Situational modeling


D. A. Pospelov, Yu. I. Klykov, L. S. Zagadskaya (Bolotova)

Conceptual metamodeling and design


With. P. Nikanorov, V. V. Nechaev

Simulation modeling


J. Forrester, A. V. Fedotov (imitation dynamic modeling)

The beginning of the XXI century.

A. A. Emelyanov (computer simulation)

System Engineering (System Engineering)


F. Good, R. Makol, F. E. Temnikov


Q. V. Druzhinin, DS Kontorov, V. I. Nikolaev, A. Hall, G. Chestnut

The 1980s

Q. N. Kozlov, D. N. Kolesnikov and others

Cybernetics. Cybernetic approach


H. Wiener, WR Eshby, AI Berg, LP Krezmer, NE Kobrinsky, LT Kuzin, Ye. 3. Maiminas, LA Rastrigin, and others.

Exploring Operations


P. Ackoff, E. S. Ventzel, T. Saati, M. Sasieni, W. Churchman, F. Emery et al.

Special disciplines

The most constructive of the areas of system research is currently considered to be the system analysis, which first appeared in the work of the corporation RAND in connection with the tasks of the military administration in 1948, became widespread in the domestic literature after the translation of the book With. Optpera , was widely used in the works of the Central Economics and Mathematics Institute (work

Yu. I. Cherniak ), in the works of Tomsk and other schools of system research and in the 80-ies. XX century. was introduced into the curricula of the universities of our country F. I. Peregudov (Deputy Minister of Higher and Secondary Special Education of the USSR of that period).

In parallel with the directions that explicitly used the term "system", there were interdisciplinary directions that developed as independent, but in fact were oriented toward system studies.

Along with the named main interdisciplinary directions, a number of applied directions followed, the most famous of which are situational modeling or situational management ( D. A. Pospelov , Yu. I. Klykov , L. S. Zagadskaya-Bolotova ), the theory of the information field (AA Denisov [8]), conceptual metamodeling ( C . Nikanorov , V.V. Nechaev ), the systemology of the phenomenal ( BF Fomin ).

In a number of studies, the terminology of the cybernetic approach, , which can be regarded as the first integral concept of natural science, uniting humanitarian and formal knowledge, is preserved. Specificity of the cybernetic approach is the use of the term "management" as the main term. and N. Wiener's thesis on the unity of management in the animal and the machine. The use of this thesis played a significant role in the development of many new scientific directions, including the development of the theory of information systems. In particular, when developing information systems, it is useful to use the fundamental principles of management borrowed by cybernetics from the theory of automatic control. The concept of feedback is used to clarify customer requests in automated IPS. It seems promising to use a combination of feedback and compensation management.

However, at present, due to the ambiguous interpretation of the term "cybernetics" and its use in many works (especially foreign ones) connected with the development of technical analogues of living organisms, this term began to be used in a narrower sense - as one of the directions in the theory of systems dealing with the management of technical objects, and work on the creation and development of information systems use fundamental principles of management, but more often relying on the theory of automatic control and system theory.

In the 80-ies. XX century. the term "synergetics" appeared as the name of the scientific direction, engaged in the study of general laws in the formation, stability and destruction of ordered temporal and spatial structures in complex nonequilibrium systems of various physical nature (physical, chemical, biological, social).

The term synergetics (from Greek synergetikos - a joint, coherent) was introduced by the German physicist G. Haken in the study of the mechanisms of cooperative processes in a laser. However, even earlier, in the 1960s. And. R. Prigogine came to the ideas of synergetics (although at first this term was not used) from the analysis of chemical reactions. The theoretical basis of his models is nonlinear thermodynamics. Prigogine investigated dissipative processes, as a result of which disruptions of the former and the emergence of a qualitatively new organization can occur due to dissipation (scattering) of energy used by the system from the disordered homogeneous states under the influence of fluctuations and the generation of new energy from the medium.

Synergetics develops as an independent scientific direction. However, recently there has been an increasing convergence of the theory of systems and synergetics. In particular, synergetic research is used in the theory of systems in explaining the pattern of self-organization. In the long term, apparently, on the basis of the unification of the theory of systems and synergetics, the emergence of the theory of developing systems is possible.

System theory and systemology make greater use of philosophical concepts and qualitative representations. Operations research, cybernetics, system engineering, on the contrary, have a more developed formal apparatus, but less developed means of qualitative analysis and formulation of complex problems with great uncertainty and active elements.

Systems engineering and cybernetics are more focused on technical specialties.

System analysis uses approximately the same proportions conceptual and methodological representations (which is characteristic of philosophy and systems theory) and formalized methods and models (which is characteristic of special disciplines).

Interdisciplinary directions have the following features:

1) are used in those cases when the problem (problem) can not be immediately represented with the help of formal, mathematical methods, i.e. there is a large initial uncertainty of the problem situation;

2) pay attention to the process of setting the problem and use not only formal methods, but also methods of qualitative analysis;

3) rely on philosophical concepts;

4) help to organize the process of collective decision-making by uniting specialists from different fields of knowledge.

Features of system analysis, along with those considered are the following:

5) requires the mandatory development of a systematic analysis methodology that determines the sequence of analysis steps and methods of their implementation, combining methods from the MAIS and IPPF groups, and, accordingly, the specialists of various fields of knowledge;

6) examines the processes of goal-setting and the development of means of working with goals (including the development of methods for structuring goals);

7) uses the concepts and patterns of the theory of systems, research methods based on the dismemberment of large uncertainty into more visible, better suited to research (which corresponds to the concept of analysis), while preserving a holistic (systemic) view of the object of research and the problem situation concepts of goal and goal-setting).

Taking into account the theory of systems considered in this textbook, the directions of the theory of systems and system analysis are chosen as the basis for the development of the theory of systems, the basic concepts of which are given in the next section, and appropriate references are made in those cases where it is useful to involve other interdisciplinary directions.

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