Systems Science: Methodological Approaches, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Systems Science

Methodological Approaches, 1st Edition

By Yi Lin, Xiaojun Duan, Chengli Zhao, Li Da Xu

CRC Press

399 pages | 174 B/W Illus.

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By making use of the principles of systems science, the scientific community can explain many complicated matters of the world and shed new light on unsettled problems. Each real science has its own particular methodology for not only qualitative but also quantitative analyses, so it is important to understand the organic whole of systems research with operable mathematical methods. Systems Science: Methodological Approaches presents a mathematical explanation of systems science, giving readers a complete technical formulation of different systemic laws. It enables them to use a unified methodology to attack different problems that are hard, if not impossible, for modern science to handle.

Following a brief history of systems science, the book explores:

  • Basic concepts, characteristics, properties, and classifications of general systems
  • Nonlinear systems dynamics and the theory of catastrophe
  • Dissipative structures and synergistics
  • Studies of chaos, including logistic mapping, phase space reconstruction, Lyapunov exponents, and chaos of general single relation systems
  • Different aspects and concepts of fractals, including a presentation of L systems analysis and design
  • Complex systems and complexity, with a discussion of how the phenomena of "three" and complexity are related, and how various cellular automata can be constructed to generate useful simulations and figurative patterns
  • Complex adaptive systems and open complex giant systems, with introduction of the yoyo model and practical applications
  • Complex networks and related concepts and methods

The book concludes with several case studies that demonstrate how various concepts and the logic of systems can be practically applied to resolve real-life problems, such as the prediction of natural disasters. The book will be useful in directing future research and applications of systems science on a commonly accepted platform and playground.

Table of Contents

A Brief History of Systems Science

What Is Systems Science?

Development History of Systems Science

System of Modern Science and Technology

Disciplinary Characteristics of Systems Science

Some Philosophical Thoughts of Systems Science

Philosophical Significance of Systemic Epistemology

Some Unsettled Questions

Organization of This Book

Open-End Problems

Concepts, Characteristics, and Classifications of Systems

Fundamental Concepts

Properties of Systems

Dynamics and Time Systems

Classification of Systems

Systems Defined on Dynamic Sets

Open-End Problems

Nonlinear Systems Dynamics and Catastrophe

Mathematical Description of Systems Dynamics

Dynamic Systems Theory of Nonlinear Systems

Catastrophe Theory

Open-End Problems

Self-Organization: Dissipative Structures and Synergetics

Organization and Self-Organization

Dissipative Structures


Some Philosophical Thoughts

Open-End Problems


Phenomena of Chaos

Definition of Chaos

Logistic Mapping—Chaos Model

Phase Space Reconstruction

Lyapunov Exponents

Case Studies and Fields of Applications

Some Philosophical Thoughts on Chaos

Chaos of General Single-Relation Systems

Open-End Problems


Different Aspects of Fractals

L-Systems—Analysis and Design

Iterative Function Systems

Open-End Problems

Complex Systems and Complexity

Simple Giant Systems

Characteristic Analysis of Complex Systems


Cases on Association of Complexity and Simplicity

Conservation Law of Informational Infrastructure

Open-End Problems

Complex Adaptive Systems

Basics of Complex Adaptive Systems

How an Agent Adapts and Learns

From Parts to Whole—The ECHO Model

Modeling CASs with ECHO

Swarm Simulation Platform

Open-End Problems

Open Complex Giant Systems

Classification of Giant Systems

Open Complex Giant Systems

Internet—An Open Complex Giant System

Significance of Studying Open Complex Giant Systems

Research Methods of Open Complex Giant Systems

Systemic Yoyos: Combined Qualitative and Quantitative Model

Examples of Applications

Open-End Problems

Complex Networks


Complex Network Models

Generation Mechanism

Processes on Complex Networks

Network and Complexity

Open-End Problems

Case Studies

Systems Evaluation

Systems Scientific Analysis for Positioning Accuracy of Satellite

Navigation System

Temporal Analysis of Social Networks

Values of College Students in China



About the Authors

Dr. Yi Lin, also known as Jeffrey Yi-Lin Forrest, is a specially appointed professor in economics, finance, systems science, and mathematics at several major universities in China as well as tenured professor of mathematics at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (Slippery Rock campus). His research interests are mainly in the area of systems research and applications in a wide-ranging number of disciplines of the traditional sciences, including mathematical modeling, foundations of mathematics, data analysis, theory and methods of predictions of disastrous natural events, economics and finance, management science, and philosophy of science.

Dr. Xiaojun Duan is a professor at the Department of Mathematics and System Sciences, College of Science, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha, China. Her research interests include general systems theory and applications, data analysis, and complex system test and evaluation.

Mr. Chengli Zhao is a lecturer at the Department of Mathematics and Systems Science of the National University of Defense Technology. Mr. Zhao’s scientific interests and publications cover studies of complex systems, massive data computing, and web data mining.

About the Series

Advances in Systems Science and Engineering (ASSE)

The Advances in Systems Science and Engineering Series is a refereed book series reporting cutting-edge systems science and engineering research. Systems science and engineering techniques, and the contribution of technological innovation are major concerns of the Series. Techniques developed in systems science, systems engineering and closely related disciplines such as mathematical science, computer science, and operations research used in systems science and engineering practice are also considered.

About the Series Editor

Dr. Li Da Xu ( [email protected]) earned his Ph.D. in Systems Science. He is an Eminent Scholar at Old Dominion University and a Changjiang Chair Professor at Beijing Jiaotong University. He is a member of the editorial board of Systems Research and Behavioral Sciences and has edited numerous special issues for Systems Research and Behavioral Sciences. He also serves as the special issue editors and associate editors of IEEE Systems Journal and IEEE Transactions SMC. He is the founding Director of the Institute of Systems Science and Engineering at Wuhan University of Technology, China.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Information Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)