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Systems and Modeling I

Diagrams and Identification
  • Robert L. Flood
  • Ewart R. Carson

Abstract

There are a number of reasons why we may want to distinguish a situation from its surroundings. These include, for example, studying structure, processes, and behavior of the situation through systems methodology, or systemic scientific research. Forming representations, however, is not an easy task, since it is prone to a number of serious difficulties. One particular difficulty (which is discussed in detail below) is, in fact, how we abstract a system from the situation, determining what is system and what is environment, and where the boundary between the two should be drawn. This process is not an easy affair as we the abstractors are part of that process; hence a strong subjective element is included. Beishon (1980) suggested that our attempts to be objective are rarely successful because we are “prejudiced.” He consequently suggested that we need some guidelines to help us disentangle potentially meaningful systems from the complexity that surrounds us. Building models and diagrams, Beishon proposed, is one useful approach. Let us first consider models in general.

Keywords

Expert Consultation Soft System Methodology Rich Picture Influence Diagram System Diagram 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Flood
    • 1
  • Ewart R. Carson
    • 1
  1. 1.City UniversityLondonEngland

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