Complexity and System Descriptions

  • Robert Rosen
Part of the International Federation for Systems Research International Series on Systems Science and Engineering book series (IFSR, volume 7)


There is an enormous literature on the complexity of systems, and with attempts at specifying intrinsic measures of complexity. In this note, we will take an opposite view; that complexity is not an intrinsic property of a system, but rather manifests our capabilities to interact with the system. Since our capabilities to interact with systems around us are continually changing, so too do their apparent complexities. Some consequences of this viewpoint, bearing on system descriptions, and on the capacity of systems to make errors, will be dealt with below; a fuller discussion of these matters will be presented in another place.


Original System System Description Justifiable Procedure Full Discussion Instantaneous State 
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

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Rosen

There are no affiliations available

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