Approach to General Systems Theory
Klir, George J.
This book represents a well-written and worthwhile textbook for a one-semester course in general system theory. It has been written for advanced undergraduate and graduate students and is actually the first comprehensive textbook in the area. The first chapter introduces fundamental concepts and problems concerning systems definition, modeling, and classification. The second chapter describes models of various systems, discusses a meaning of general systems, and presents a summary of existing system theories. The third chapter describes behavior of discrete systems and presents examples illustrating how discrete systems can be formally represented. The fourth chapter introduces models of deterministic and probabilistic controlled systems and discusses a function of system memory. The fifth chapter is devoted to system analysis and introduces a basic methodology for the investigation of discrete systems. The sixth chapter is devoted to system synthesis. It describes guiding principles and algorithms for the synthesis of discrete systems. The seventh chapter discusses a problem of a black box and focuses attention to the state and structure identification problems. Chapter 8 introduces a new approach to general system theory and discusses it from different points of view. Each chapter contains many illustrative examples which clearly illuminate the discussed topics. At the end of each chapter there is a set of problems geared to the material covered in that chapter. The solutions to these problems are presented separately in the Instructor's Manual, which is available together with the book. This manual also indicates how the material contained in the individual chapters can be most effectively conveyed to the students. The book is very readable and well organized. It represents a useful and fundamental text on general system theory which can be of great benefit for anyone who wishes to make himself more familiar with the modern concepts of systems science.